Classification and diagnosis of phobias AO1

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  • Classification and diagnosis of phobic disorders
    • Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM)
      • A classification system of mental disorders containing typical symptoms for disorders and guidlines for  diagnosis.
      • Phobias are classed as anxiety disorders, with extreme anxiety
        • Agoraphobia- a fear of being in places where it's difficult to escape
        • Specific phobia- phobias of specific activities or objects
        • Social phobias- phobias of situations involving other people
      • Characteristics of clinical phobias
        • 1.  A marked or persistent fear that is unreasonable
        • 2. Exposure to the phobias stimulus provokes an immediate anxiety response
        • 3. The person recognises their fear is excessive or unreasonable,may be absent in childrenn
        • 5.Avoidance anxiety and stress interfere 9th a persons normal routine
        • 4. The phobic situation is avoided or endured with extreme anxiety
        • 6.In individuals under 18, the duration must be 6months or more
        • 7. The anxiety, panic attacks or phobic avoidance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder
    • Issues of classification and diagnosis
      • Reliability
        • Reliability- the extent to hitch a diagnostic system produces reliable or accurate findings
        • The consistency of a measuring interment such as. Questionnaireto assess Ho fearful a person is about certain objects etc
        • Inter-rather reliability
          • The extent to which to or more diagnosticians would arrive at the same conclusion for the same individual
          • Brown (2001) identified 3 issues with low inter rate reliabilty
            • Threshold issue- was sufficient anxiety caused
            • Patient report of symptoms differs between interviews
            • Interviewer sometimes makes errors
        • Test-retest reliability
      • Validity
        • Validity concerns how accurate, meaningful and useful a diagnosis is
        • When questioning validity we are asking the extent to which our system of diagnosing is reflecting the true nature of the problem; the prognosis
        • If a diagnostic system produces unreliable inconsistent results over time then it cannot be valid.
        • Descriptive validity
          • To be valid patients diagnosed with different disorders should differ from each other
          • Comorbidity
            • Reduces descriptive validity as, if someone has 2 or more disorders it suggests the disorders are not actually separate from each other
            • It suggests there is an overlap between the disorder and any given disorders as a result we can only assume that all phobic disorders are of the same severity
        • Predictive validity
          • If diagnosis leads to successful treatment then the diagnosis is seen as valid
          • Concerned 9th the extent to which we can use the diagnosis to predict the outcomes for patients


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