Issues with Diagnosis of Schizophrenia

Topics: Mental disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Reliability Pages: 2 (715 words) Published: March 22, 2013
Discuss the issues with classification and diagnosis
In order to diagnose the symptoms of mental health disorders , practitioners use classification systems like the DSM which classifies the symptoms of schizophrenia. The DSM has been criticised for issues including cultural problems and the overlap of disorders such as schizophrenia with depression. The DSM is used to diagnose patients with a disorder and indicates what treatment they will require. Other problems involved with the classification includes inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability. Ronsenhan conducted a study which demonstrated the issue of reliability. Participants with no mental health administrated themselves into a practice by saying they could hear noises in their head saying ‘thud’. Once the participants were admitted they behaved normally however they were still interpreted as schizophrenic. This raises issues on the reliability of the classification as it suggests anyone can be admitted, and once labelled with a diagnosis every behaviour they may show is blamed on the disorder. The publication of the DSM-III in 1980 was designed as offering a much more reliable classification system in order to diagnose disorders. Carson claimed it would fix all problems of reliability for once and for all allowing agreement between psychiatrists to who and who did not have schizophrenia. Despite these claims there is still little to no evidence proving its reliability and a study conducted by whaley found the inter-rater reliability was as low 0.11. Whaleys research is into inter-rater reliability is supported by the findings of majtabi and Nicholson. In this research 50 senior psychiatrists were asked to distinguish between ‘bizzare’ and ‘non bizzare’ behaviour, they produced inter-rater reliability as low as 40 percent proving the central diagnosis system lacks sufficient reliability for it to be a reliable method or differentiate schizophrenic sufferers and non-schizophrenics. Overall the...
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