Evaluation: Diagnosis and Classification of Schitzophrenia

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  • Evaluation: Diagnosis and classification of Schitzophrenia
    • Reliability
      • Cheniaux et al. (2009): 2 psychiatrists independantly diagnosed 100 patients using DSM and ICD
      • 1st: 26 with Sz from DSM and 44 from ICD
      • 2nd: 13 with Sz from DSM and 24 from ICD
      • Diagnosis has poor inter-rater reliability
      • A weakness of diagnosis of Sz
    • Symptom overlap
      • Overlap between Sz symptoms and other conditions e.g. bipolar disorder
      • ICD would class a patient as having Sz, but DSM would diagnose bipolar
      • Questions validity of diagnosis and suggests the 2 conditions may just be one
    • Validity
      • Validity assessed using criterion validity
      • From Cheniaux et al (2009), Sz is more likely to be diagnosed using ICD than DSM
        • Over-diagnosis in ICD
        • Under-diagnosis in DSM
      • This shows poor validity, so a weakness of diagnosis
    • Co-morbidity
      • Where 2 or more mental disorders are present in one person
      • Buckley et al (2009): Sz patients have a high chance of being diagnosed with another mental illness
      • If symptoms match, the sufferer may just have one condition
      • This is a confusing picture of Sz diagnosis and classification
    • Cultural bias
      • Afro-Caribbean people are more likely to be diagnosed with Sz than white people
      • Positive symptoms e.g. hearing voices is more acceptable in African cultures
        • Reported to a psychiatrist because these seem irrational
        • Beliefs e.g. comunicating with ancestors are more acknowledged in African cultures
      • Psychiatrists over-interpret symptoms, leading to over diagnosis in one cultural group
    • Gender bias
      • Men are diagnosed with Sz more than women
      • Female patients tend to function better than male and have good family relationships
        • Explains higher diagnosis in men
        • Female Sz is under diagnosed
      • Statement about men being more likely to have Sz is false and diagnosis has questionable validity


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