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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 0717-9227


RUIZ-DOBLADO, Sergio. Sacrificing validity for feasibility in psychopathology: Seeing through a dark glass. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.48, n.3, pp.232-244. ISSN 0717-9227.

The improvement in interater and test-retest reliability could be considered as one of the better conquests for the last-quarter-of-XXth-century Psychiatry. However, this homogeneity and operativizing of diagnostic criteria has added some disadvantages to diagnostic procedure: high ratios of comorbidity and loss of categorial validity could be considered as undesirable consequences of this event. The use of operative diagnostic systems but not the go-deeply-into psychopathological analysis has removed an important and rich information. This loss of information could compromise the study of ethiopatogenia; correlations between symptoms and neurobiological alterations; and prognosis and therapeutic decisions. We analyze the consequences of this event in the validity of diagnosis, from "major depression" (that may be considered as a less valid category than classical melancholia) to anxiety disorders, dysthymia and somatoform disorders (lossing stability and validity in relation to "neurotic general syndrome" or "neuroticism" as an internalizing condition), and also personality disorders (characterized by longitudinal diagnostic unstability and differents ratios of prevalence, excluding antisocial personality disorder).

Keywords : feasibility; validity; operative-diagnostic-criteria; classification-systems; melancholia; neuroses; personality-disorders.

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