Article

Do clinicians conceptualize DSM-IV disorders hierarchically?

Yale University, USA.
Journal of Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.12). 04/2012; 68(6):620-30. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.21840
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT All classification systems of psychopathology use hierarchical categories. The purpose of the two studies in this article was to test whether clinicians think hierarchically about mental disorders.
Seventy six clinicians were asked to sort 67 diagnostic categories into groups using different instruction sets, either to make progressively larger and smaller groups of diagnoses (Study 1) or to place similar groups next to each other (Study 1 and Study 2).
Clinicians' sortings of mental disorders had a hierarchical structure regardless of the methodology, profession, expertise, and instructional set used.
Given that all modern diagnostic systems have been hierarchical, it is important to know that clinicians' thinking is also hierarchical.

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