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Classification beyond the diagnosis 

Classification beyond the diagnosis
Classification beyond the diagnosis

John E. Cooper

and Norman Sartorius

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date: 21 November 2018

The diagnosis of the disorder from which a patient is suffering does not necessarily convey much information for that individual about the severity or duration of any associated disability. But since recording of the diagnosis is traditionally given much emphasis, and is easily available, it is often used by administrators for purposes for which it is not suited. In particular, ‘diagnosis-related groups’ (DRG) are a poor substitute for properly worked out measures of severity and length of disability. Some contemporary diagnoses are focused too much on the individual patient, and do not reflect adequately the effects on other persons and family members; there are now some signs that these deficiencies may be addressed in DSM-V and ICD-11, as relationship disorders. In the past, treating terms such as impairment, disability and handicap as synonyms has caused confusion, but special rating scales are now available which give specific meanings to these terms. The most recent example is the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) produced by the WHO.

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