Diagnostic Issues

  • James W. Thompson
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)

Abstract

Nosology, or the science of disease classification, is one of the basic sciences of medicine. Whether the physician is engaged in clinical work, research, or administration, the accurate classification of a patient’s syndrome, disease, or other pathological state is the key to effectiveness. Clinically, medicine relies heavily upon the categorization of patients to determine appropriate treatment and prognosis. Sometimes a change in nosology precedes changes in treatment. For example, until the separation of diabetes into diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus (Garrison, 1929), the advent of appropriate treatment was not possible. In other cases, the nosologic changes reflect a new understanding of a disorder. An example of this is the separation of schizophreniform disorder from schizophrenia (Andreasen, 1987; Helzer, Kendell, & Brockington, 1983), categories which reflect a particular view of prognosis.

Keywords

Mental Disorder American Psychiatric Association Psychiatric Diagnosis Diagnostic Category Schizoaffective Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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