Discuss Reliability and Validity of Diagnosis

1012 Words Oct 16th, 2010 5 Pages
Discuss reliability and validity of diagnosis
A reliable and valid diagnosis is one which is correctly reasoned from a satisfying premise and agreed upon by psychiatrists using the same diagnosis system.
However, there are many factors that make the process of determining a diagnosis intricate. For one to obtain a reliable and valid diagnosis, one has to be sure that the classification systems themselves are valid and reliable. Because the concept of abnormality is so complex it is particularly difficult to define and this affects diagnosis. Also, there are a number of cultural and ethical considerations one must consider when making a diagnosis, some of these include culture-bound syndromes, culture blindness and racial/ethnic bias.
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This makes it incredibly hard to determine whether the differences in diagnostics between different cultures is due to the environment or if there is real differences

A third cultural consideration in diagnosis is culture blindness; this is the problem of identifying symptoms of a psychological disorder if they are not in the norm of the clinician’s own culture.

There are also ethical considerations when diagnosing mental illness. One of these considerations was mentioned above; it is the idea of being stigmatized for having a mental illness. Many people are afraid that once they are given a diagnosis, society will look down on them as being inferior.

Schell (1966) argued that once given a ‘label’ one will begin to act as they think they are supposed to, this is known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. This would lead to an increase of symptoms and hence, may lead to a misguided diagnosis. The concept of confirmation bias will also take issue when diagnosing a patient, the clinician may be lead to believe that because the patient is seeking help, he/she does infact need help

In the late 1990’s GlaxoSmithKline claimed that they could cure shyness, in effect, 15% of children were diagnosed of social anxiety disorder. GlaxoSmithKline are now being sued for making this drug named Paxil. 4000 people who treated their kids with this noticed that it didn’t work and that their kids showed withdrawal symptoms. This goes to show that sometimes drug
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