The Strengths and Weaknesses of the DSM-IV Classification System for Diagnosing Psychopathology

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The Strengths and Weaknesses of the DSM-IV Classification System for Diagnosing Psychopathology

Introduction: DSM-IV as a system of diagnosis has been criticised on its very foundation that far from improving the clinical practice it claims to have prioritised. To assess its strengths and weaknesses, the essay critically examined the purpose of DSM-IV and how its practice and techniques have been practically found useful. As in the definition offered by Allen (1998) the concept stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. As a system, Allen (1998) added that, it ‘details the diagnostic criteria for nearly 300 mental disorders and nearly 100 other psychological conditions’. Stressing its
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As most of the criticism levelled against the claim that the purpose of DSM-IV is to facilitate clinical practice and communication as a priority of DSM that is set forth in providing help to guide clinical practice (Mullins-Sweatt and Widiger, 2009). The critics’ argument was based on how researches have been conducted on these methods being biased for reflecting only the interests and concerns of the researchers in the domain while neglecting the practical needs and concerns of clinicians, Sweatt and Widiger further argued (2009). While there are very few studies stressing the strengths of the DSM-IV as a diagnostic system, there are various scholarly efforts aimed at the filling the gaps, i.e., improving the clinical utility with further consideration of the validity of its criteria rather than reliability. To base one's evaluation of the various studies conducted on various aspects of the issues that DSM system’s assumptions have raised, there is the need to strike a balance analysis on the importance of this diagnostic system. As can be observed that there are very few studies that highlight the significance of the system as in one of these that the essay has come across stressing the author's optimism that the system has achieved most of its objectives. Asserting their claims, De Matos, et al,

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