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The Pros And Cons Of Classification Systems In Psychiatry

1606 words - 6 pages

Classification refers to the procedure in which ideas or objects are recognized, distinguished and understood. Currently, two leading systems are used for grouping of mental disorder namely International Classification of Disease (ICD) by World Health Organization (WHO) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM) by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Other classifications include Chinese classification of mental disorder, psycho-dynamic diagnostic manual, Latin American guide for psychiatric diagnosis etc. A survey of 205 psychiatrists, from 66 different countries across all continents, found that ICD-10 was more customarily used and more valued in clinical practice, while the DSM-IV was more valued for research [1].
1. It aids us to communicate our understanding with other experts. Trull (2004, pp. 125-126) referred to diagnosis as “verbal shorthand” for elucidating the features of a particular mental disorder [2]. It will be challenging for us to convey schizophrenia to other professionals just by using the clinical features, without a diagnosis. Listening to a diagnosis, immediately conjures up a doppelganger in our mind about what the patient can be suffering from.
2. A proper classification method removes the guess work for diagnosis. It serves as a guide to reach a precise diagnosis. Diagnostic criterion helps the clinician to make an interim diagnosis and clarify it in further assessments.
3. In the absence of a consistent classification, assortment and assessment of subjects will become nearly unmanageable. Researchers use diagnostic sets that empower them to draw deductions and comparison among different research groups.
4. Standardization of diagnoses helps to warrant that clients receive appropriate treatment. It helps in planning specific goals of therapy as well as a standard of measure to note the efficacy of treatment. Blashfield and Draguns (1976, p. 148) stated, “The final decision on the value of a psychiatric classification for prediction rests on an empirical evaluation of the utility of classification for treatment decisions” [3]. For example a conclusion of schizophrenia suggests to us that treatment with anti-psychotic medications will be more effective than psychotherapy.
5. Cataloguing of mental illness helps us in whittling appropriate funding in national health dogmas. This guides the ruling classes about the burden of different mental disorders on society and how to slacken it by apportionment of proper funding.
6. It is also indispensable for the determination of safeguarding the mentally unwell. Legal system shelters those who commit a crime and have a mental illness. The court of law will only put their reliance in a diagnosis if it is made according to an appropriate benchmark (which is provided by classification). The court can decree for the person to seek treatment and assure his well-being as well as that of society.
7. A proper classification...

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