Schizophrenia Classification and Diagnosis

875 Words4 Pages
Describe & evaluate two issues in classifying and diagnosing schizophrenia (8+16marks) (24 marks) The DSM (diagnostic statistical manual of mental disorder) is used by American psychologists and psychiatrists for diagnosis of schizophrenia. This system states that symptoms of schizophrenia should be apparent for at least 6months. On the other hand the World Health organisation had developed another classification system known as the International Classification Of Diseases (ICD) which requires symptoms to be apparent for 1 month in order for schizophrenia to be diagnosed. The classification systems have different criteria for the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia, e.g. the ICD recognises 7 subtypes of schizophrenia and DSM only recognises 5. The reliability of the early editions of both classification systems were seen as inconsistent and the vagueness of the DSM led to very low reliability in diagnosis. Schizophrenia was more commonly diagnosed in the USA using the DSM (80%) in contrast to England which used the ICD (20%). Although ICD& DSM have become very similar in recent years, they place different emphasis on the importance of symptoms of schizophrenia. The ICD also lists two types of schizophrenia that are not present in the DSM resulting in inconsistency of diagnosis depending on what classification system is used thus causing a lack in reliability. The criteria for schizophrenia has changed considerably and it is believed to be a broad term because at least two different conditions exist (Crow). It has many different categories and symptoms & the broadness of the criteria makes if difficult to diagnose the disorder. As the definition of schizophrenia is always changing, it is unreliable as it lacks consistency thus invalidating the classification of the illness. This effects treatments, diagnosis and aetiology. The changing definition also
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