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The Spectrum Model: A More Coherent Approach to the Complexity of Psychiatric Symptomatology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014


The current tools used to define and diagnose mental disorders, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases, have added specificity to the psychiatric nomenclature. However, their stereotypic rigidity in classification has resulted in the failure to identify the full range of potentially debilitating psychiatric symptoms with which patients may present. A spectrum model of psychopathology is more adept at recognizing the subclinical or threshold symptomatology that may occur concomitantly with core psychiatric disorders. The authors discuss the development of a spectrum approach to the diagnosis of mental disorders, which offers the potential to improve treatment selection and therapeutic outcomes.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1998

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