Diagnosis and classification

Michael B. First and Harold Alan Pincus

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI:
Diagnosis and classification

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In Psychiatry, as in all of medicine, diagnosis is a key function and central to developing a plan of treatment for patients. Psychiatry, however, faces special challenges. The etiopathogenesis of most psychiatric disorders is not known. For the most part, a clinician must rely on reports from, and direct observation of patients to gather the necessary information to determine a diagnosis. Until very recently, laboratory tests had little relevance. Even diagnostic information found in medical records may not be useful, since the clinician cannot ascertain whether the historically recorded diagnoses of previous clinicians were based on reliable observations, the application of similar diagnostic approaches, or even the same system of classification. These special challenges faced by the field have ensured that diagnosis and classification in psychiatry has a long and rich history.

Chapter.  16808 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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