Bias In the Diagnostic System

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Issues of Bias in the Diagnosis System- Classification of Mental Disorders uses DSM and ICD. These are the 2 main classification systems is based on the biological or medical
model of abnormality. Clinical psychologists aim to classify disorders so a label can be applied and treatment proposed. Behaviourist and cognitive models place less importance on
identifying syndromes and more on identifying symptoms that need to be removed. Behaviourist and cognitive models don't need classification systems or if they use them they are
more appropriate to the model. These classification systems permit the therapist to isolate the variables that become the focus of the treatment. There is some evidence that
suggests that this system has higher reliability and validity than DSM.
Theory Evaluation
Cultural Bias Culture is the rules, customs, morals and ways of interacting RESEARCH EVIDENCE- certain cultures and subcultures are treated differently.
that bind together members of society or some other COCHRANE ET AL- found that black afro- Caribbean immigrants in the UK are up to 7
collection of people. CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM= e.g. in west, it times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than white people. BLAKE- also
is abnormal to hear voices but in some religions hearing voices found that when clinicians were given a case study, they were more likely to
can be desirable. A lot of diagnosing is to do with social diagnose schizophrenia if the individual was described as afro- Caribbean.
norms. These changes a lot depending. The DSM and similar JOHNSTONE- found that lower- class patients were more likely to spend longer in
books are often made in western society so they can't be hospital, be prescribed physical rather psychological treatments and have a poorer
used correctly in eastern societies making them culturally prognosis. EVALUATION: EXPLAINING OVER DIAGNOSIS= could be that some culture
biased. PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS= part of the psychological are diagnosed more than others due to genetics not culture/ religion etc. In the case
diagnosis test is a personality or intelligence test. These tests of afro- Caribbeans and schizophrenia, in other countries apart from the UK the rate
are created in and based on western society. They are based aren't as high. Another view is that ethnic minorities may just have stressful lives in
on the things that western norms are. These tests are then the UK so are more likely to develop schizophrenia. TYPE 1 and 2 ERRORS=
standardised by people of western cultures. Non- western MALGADY- argued that if clinicians believed that there were no cultural differences
societies aren't diagnosed as accurately. in diagnosis and this is a mistake then they are doing a disservice to their patients.
However, it easier on the clinicians to over rather than under diagnose patients who
are actually healthy.
Historical Bias Diagnostic systems have a change over time. Similarly there is
a problem with longitudinal studies into studies of
schizophrenia as what used to be classified as schizophrenia at
one point in time changes and people fall in and out of the
classifications depending on what data is being used.
Gender Bias CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS- the practice of psychiatry has until EVALUATION: BIAS OR DIFFERENCE?- it is possible that at least some cases of
recently been male dominated. This also means that the discrepancy diagnoses are due to real differences instead of bias. NOLEN-
behaviours that are used as a standard measure are produced HOEKSEMA- suggests that men and women even respond differently to depression;
by and measured by men too. The result of this is that normal women focus on the negative emotions and are more likely to seek help whilst men
female behaviours are often seen as abnormal. For example, will seek distraction using e.g. alcohol. This is supported by the fact that although
anorexia is often seen as a condition that is only females women's depression rates are twice as high than men's and that it is also the same i
suffer from. This is because some of the characteristics are bipolar disorders. If there was a systematic gender bias in diagnosis then one would
amenorrhea (the cease of periods). RATES OF DIAGNOSIS- expect it o be reflected in bipolar disorder as well as some symptoms are the same
there are significant differences in the rates of diagnosis for for both conditions. RESEARCH PARTICIPATION-LEO AND CARTAGENA-point out

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Issues of Bias in the Diagnosis System- Classification of Mental Disorders uses DSM and ICD. These are the 2 main classification systems is based on the biological or medical
model of abnormality. Clinical psychologists aim to classify disorders so a label can be applied and treatment proposed. Behaviourist and cognitive models place less importance on
identifying syndromes and more on identifying symptoms that need to be removed.…read more

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