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Guest tomatosauce

Syndromal classification?????

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???Please someone tell me what syndromal classification is, and where I can look it up. Thanks

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I presume that 'syndromal classification' means the structuring of a disease classification around symptom clusters (a 'syndrome') rather than underlying pathological / microbiological processes

So for example:

AIDS is a syndrome classification (but HIV isn't)

Pneumonia isn't (classified because of infectious cause)

Cancer isn't (histological diagnosis)

SLE might be (American Rheumatological Association criteria)

A lot of psychiatry used to be based around so-called underlying causes (eg diagnosing schizophrenia on the basis of psychodynamic background) but it was found to be a) unsubstantiated and B) a hindrance to development.

So now most of psychiatry is diagnosed according to symptom clusters (eg low mood / low energy / lack of enjoyment or 1st rank symptoms or impulsivity / inattention / hyperactivity to give 3 examples) - it provides a more basic classification system that is (in theory) 'atheoretical' but risks lumping things together that might be best kept apart (imagine if everyone presenting with chest pain was thrown into a recurrent-chest-pain-disorder classification !)

As to where to look...

I'd start at the big Oxford Textbook in the bit on classification systems, check out anyone's Part I Guildford course notes for the classification lecture and read the introduction to ICD10 and DSM IV

Does this help ??

Be seeing you

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I'm hazarding guesses here also: One of the debates about psychiatry seems to be the validity of compartmentalising and labellling of syndromes. Part of the problem is that ther is heterogeneity within any given syndrome in psychiatry. According to the main classification systems (DSM/ICD) there are few diseases for which criteria must all be satisfied in order to comply with inclusion. (to be depressed you need to have a number of a wide cluster of features, but not all depressed people have all of the features, and some people might share no common features with each other, but still fall into the category of mild depressive episode together.) This is indeed the meaning of a polythetic rather than monothetic or Aristolean form of classification.

Whether this represents a conventient packaging of knowledge to help our learning of ffairly complex fields of study, or is an empirical classification based on what might be considered linguistic realism (a position where it is considerd that words develop to fit meaningful entities rather than the other way around.) is not readily resolved. In either instance it is the paradigm through which we communicate, and as such enables us to treat complex clusters of behaviour as representative of manageable entities.

I hope this is vaguely relevant.

dx

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