Issues with the Classification of Schizophrenia

Authors Avatar by ellouise1997hotmailcom (student)

Issues with classification of schizophrenia (8+16marks)

There are many issues with the current classification system which in turn undermines the reliability and validity of the diagnosis of schizophrenia. This then consequently affects the validity and reliability of treatment options and limits the ability to validly compare schizophrenic research due to the ambiguity in recognising it.

In order for the classification to both be reliable and valid characteristics should be adhere to many assumptions. Deviations from this ideal diagnostic system weaken the classification. Ideally characteristics should be mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustible categories. The advantage of valid and reliable diagnosis means aetiologies, treatment and prognosis are accurate. However, if the diagnosis lacks reliability, misdiagnosis, assumptions of categories and labelling effect may occur.

One of the main issues is that there is no object test that can measure schizophrenia and a great deal of emphasis is placed on patient’s ability to report the symptoms which may not always be accurately described hindering reliability of the diagnosis.

Join now!

Despite no object tests there are diagnostic manuals that highlight the clinical characteristics of the disorder that clinicians can use to inform their diagnosis in attempt to objectify schizophrenia. However, discrepancies exist between the two manuals DSM and ICD. The main flaw is differences between the two. For instance, the DSM specifies that signs of disturbance have to be present for at least 6 months, compared to the ICD which says 1 month. Additionally, the DSM emphasises social impairments as a key symptom whereas the ICD doesn’t acknowledge any social aspects further exacerbating the issues with reliability and validity.  


This is a preview of the whole essay