Categorical Approach To DSM-IV

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The categorical approach in DSM-IV has been adhered to for the past two decades for clinical diagnoses and research purposes. This approach aims to label if the disorder is present or not present in a subject (Kraemer, Noda, & O’Hara, 2004). This allows researchers and clinicians to make precise decisions on whether the subject has a disorder, hence the treatment he/she requires. A categorical approach is especially important when defining the criteria to include or exclude a subject from the disorder by employing a threshold as an indicator (Maser, et. al., 2009). Therefore, classification of categories has to be very precise and specific (Widiger & Samuel, 2005). In order to have better understanding of this diagnostic approach, it is crucial…show more content…
This system has led to a solid framework and high degree of reproducibility and consistency in psychiatric research (Craddock & Owen, 2005). This in turn helps clinicians in performing effective interventions and predicting desirable clinical outcomes (First, 2010). The categorical approach also serves to facilitate communication between clinical practitioners. By having common language about diagnoses, treatments and interventions, prognosis etc., clinicians and researchers will have standardized understandings on the implications of the different types of symptoms, which help to convey information relating to the characteristics and associated conditions of the diagnoses (Trull & Durrett,…show more content…
Co-occurrence results in prevalence in comorbidity suggesting overlap in common symptoms contributing from different disorders. Since the categorical approach does not incorporate guidelines to respond to subject’s co-occurring symptoms, clinicians will most likely focus on symptoms that are obvious and ignore the less obvious. This leads to a superficial distinction of the disorders resulting in loss of information about the patient, leading to biased and ineffective treatments (Krueger & Piasecki, 2002). This raises the question of whether these co-occurring symptoms are the result of one disorder with multiple symptoms or multiple disorders (Wildes & Marcus, 2013). A clear diagnosis will be difficult to set on comorbidity, which suggests that the categorical approach has made diagnosis into a more complex and difficult task to practitioners where the clinical utility of the approach will often be

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