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Bull World Health Organ. 1959;21:601-63.

Classification of mental disorders.

Abstract

ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFICULTIES IN DEVISING A CLASSIFICATION OF MENTAL DISORDERS IS THE LACK OF AGREEMENT AMONG PSYCHIATRISTS REGARDING THE CONCEPTS UPON WHICH IT SHOULD BE BASED: diagnoses can rarely be verified objectively and the same or similar conditions are described under a confusing variety of names. This situation militates against the ready exchange of ideas and experiences and hampers progress. As a first step towards remedying this state of affairs, the author of the article below has undertaken a critical survey of existing classifications. He shows how some of the difficulties created by lack of knowledge regarding pathology and etiology may be overcome by the use of "operational definitions" and outlines the basic principles on which he believes a generally acceptable international classification might be constructed. If this can be done it should lead to a greater measure of agreement regarding the value of specific treatments for mental disorders and greatly facilitate a broad epidemiological approach to psychiatric research.

PMID:
13834299
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2537983
Free PMC Article
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