Classification of Ventral and Incisional Hernias
Classifications are an expression of the need for structure and organization within complex realities. The manner in which complex phenomena are classified is fundamental to how they are understood and dealt with ► . It is therefore necessary that classification systems are subjected to validation. The first step in this process can be the retrospective evaluation of the data that were collected and the second step prospective confirmation of the validation. A classification system is accepted as useful if it can generate verifiable hypotheses. In the validation process, a classification is tested for its utility in answering specific questions, a test that can have one of three results: the system is verified (its methodology confirmed), it is falsified (its methodology refuted), or the test is inconclusive (neither confirmed nor refuted). Validation of a classification confirms that it has met the requirements for its intended use. Any classification, however, is valid only so long as it can withstand or adapt to continued critical testing based on continuous refinement of the knowledge on which it is based. Unlike truth, provisional validation is based on a large body of basic data ► . Every type of classification thus relies on empirical validation. The goal is to create an evidentiary foundation upon which to build as knowledge increases ► .
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