Diagnostic Labels

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In the medical field, it is very common to use diagnostic labels when classifying individuals. This is done both for the purposes of research and when treating patients. Even though there are many benefits to the use of diagnostic labels, they can also be used to promote stereotypes and discrimination. The stigma associated with labeling patients, especially those who have cognitive impairments or various types of dementia, can have a tremendous negative impact on the individual. This is particularly true when dealing with children and adolescents. Not only this labeling affects interpersonal relationships, but also may be a block in the development of social interactions, participation in treatment and research, and in the attitude of both the patient and others. Moreover, the perpetuation of stereotypes and the impact of the impact placed upon the individual by the use of diagnostic labels, can also extend to family, caregivers, and even friends and acquaintances.…show more content…
These labels allow medical staff and researchers to assume that all members of a particular group are usually homogeneous in the underlying nature of the illness in question, notwithstanding whether there is certain variability in the circumstances surrounding the illness or in the presentation of the symptoms. That is, labels are used to distinguish patient groups by a set of easily defined boundaries, thus serving various goals. Not only does the labeling allow for a more efficient way to understand large amounts of medical data, but it also provides a convenient way to describe a patient. This includes symptom presentation, the development of the disorder, and prognosis. Diagnostic labels can also assist in those interventions which may prevent or alleviate the consequences of the condition
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