International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 3 Num. 2 - December 2003


The Diagnosis of Schizophrenia: Old Wine in New Bottles [El Diagn?stico de la Esquizofrenia: Vino Viejo en Botellas Nuevas]

Volume 3 Num. 2 - December 2003 - Pages 141-152


V?ctor Peralta and Manuel J. Cuesta


Diagnosing schizophrenia has been problematic since the earliest clinical descriptions of the disorder, and the existence of basic disagreements in the concept is reflected by the large number of competing diagnostic systems that have been proposed. Given that the ultimate goal of any diagnostic system is to provide insights into the etiology, pathophysiology and treatment of the disorder, it is essential to examine the accuracy of the diagnostic construct. In this report, we analyze a number of clinical models of schizophrenia ranging from historical to present ones. It is concluded that empirical data fit better with a dimensional view of schizophrenia than with a categorical one, and given the continuous distribution of the schizophrenia-related variables, it may be arbitrary where cutpoints are made between schizophrenic and non-schizophrenic psychoses.

Key words:

schizophrenia, psychosis, diagnosis, dimensional models, categorical models

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