Comorbidity of Dependent Personality Disorders and Anxiety Disorders: Conceptual and Methodological Issues


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Abstract

Ng and Bornstein (this issue) examined the comorbidity between dependent personality disorder (DPD) and anxiety disorders (ADs) via meta-analytic techniques. Although meta-analysis can be useful in quantifying such comorbid relationships, several conceptual and methodological concerns may undermine one's confidence in Ng and Bornstein's conclusions. Specifically, the bulk of the papers reviewed by Ng and Bornstein examined to what extent DPDs occurred in individuals with ADs, even though the authors' primary research question was the extent to which individuals with a diagnosis of DPD also have a diagnosis of AD. We argue that the inclusionary criteria used in their review may have underestimated the rate of comorbidity between DPDs and ADs. Future analyses may be improved by being theory-driven and by differentiating between clinical diagnoses versus subclinical symptomatology.

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