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Discuss issues surrounding the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia

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  • Essay length: 936 words
  • Submitted: 30/03/2010
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AS and A Level Physiological Psychology

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Discuss issues surrounding the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia.

The term reliability means that each time the classification systems are used (International Classification System for Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM)) they should produce and provide the same outcome.

The reliability of the early editions of these two classifications were marked as inconsistent and the vagueness of the DSM led to very low reliability in diagnosis. Schizophrenia was more commonly diagnosed in the USA (80% of patients during the 1950s) than compared to England (at the same period - 20%).

However, ICD-10 and DSM-IV-TR have now become very similar, although there are two important differences between the classifications: the DSM requires symptoms to have been in evidence for a period of six months whilst ICD requires only one month. Secondly, the DSM is multi-axial, which means that various factors are taken into account before a diagnosis is made.

Although most researchers agree that DSM-IV-TR has improved reliability; Eysenks argues that the approaches to diagnosing schizophrenia have proved to be reasonably reliable. However his argument is that the reliability of the DSM in everyday usage may be lower than seen

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