Validity of DSM

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Descriptive Validity

  • Refers to the accuracy and objectivity of the info gathered
  • Different disorders have different symptoms, these symptoms should not overlap. 
  • Esyenck found 2/3rds of patients with anxiety disorder had one or more additional anxiety disorders

If some people have a few different disorders because they have similar symptoms then it may question VALIDITY of diagnosis.....are they really different or should they only be one disorder?

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Predictive Validity

  • Specific treatments are made for different diagnosis'
  • If diagnosis = valid, treatment should work
  • Heather (1976) pointed out:

only 50% chance of predicting which treatments will be given from diagnosis

Howerver, some cases there is predictive validity:

  • Schizphrenic patients = improve when given neuroleptic drugs, other patients don't (specific)
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Aetiological Validity

 

  •  Syndromes have specific causes
  • Expect all those with the same disorder to have developed condition for the same reason
  • NOT TRUE- many different reasons for disorders

E.g; Schizophrenia can have genetic basis in some cases but not in others

  • Suggests the dianostic system is inadequate- can't all have the same causes
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Criterion Validity

 

  • Extent to which diagnoses agree from 2 different systems (DSM and ICD)
  • Patient would be diagnosed the same in all the books

Andrews et al. (1999) 

  • assessed 1500 people using DSM-IV and ICD-10 
  • Found 68% agreement when diagnosing depression
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