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Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2007;16 Suppl 1:S34-40.

Dimensions and the psychosis phenotype.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


In this paper, we discuss the conceptual background for including a dimensional component to the DSM V diagnoses for psychoses. We review the evidence for a continuous distribution of psychosis like symptoms in the general population and summarise the research validating the clinical usefulness of psychopathological dimensions. We conclude that diagnostic models using both categorical and dimensional representations of psychosis have better predictive validity than either model independently. Dimensions do not appear to be diagnosis specific so a flexible scoring of dimensions across all psychotic and major affective disorders may be potentially more informative than a system where categorical diagnoses are kept artificially dimension-specific.

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