On the threshold of disorder

Today, Julie Karsten defended her PhD thesis entitled ‘On the treshold of disorder. Definition and course of subthreshold depression and subthreshold anxiety’. She was supervised by PredSL PI Catharina Hartman, Brenda Penninx and Willem Nolen. Her thesis resulted in five published papers in high ranking journals.

Subthreshold depression and subthreshold anxiety are common and associated with increased impairment, subjective suffering, and economic costs. Furthermore, individuals
with subthreshold depression or subthreshold anxiety are at elevated risk for developing full-syndromal psychiatric disorders. However, no empirically based operationalization for these subthreshold disorders is available, leading to different outcomes in the literature regarding symptom features, correlates, and course. In this thesis, Karsten empirically operationalized subthreshold, yet clinically significant depression and anxiety leading to functional impairment, on the criterion that mental problems must be impairing to be regarded as clinically significant (the so called “clinical significance criterion of mental disorder”). More information is available from the RuG website.

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