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Classical (qualitative) psychopathology as the basis of quantitative psychopathology in research and clinical practice

MPG-Autoren

Zerssen,  D von
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Zerssen, D. v. (2002). Classical (qualitative) psychopathology as the basis of quantitative psychopathology in research and clinical practice. Neurology Psychiatry and Brain Research, 9(4), 173-182.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-A27D-F
Zusammenfassung
During the last decades psychopathology has undergone a remarkable development from a purely qualitative to a quantitative discipline. This was mainly due to the demands of evaluation research in psychopharmacology. and of extensive epidemiological field studies. It was facilitated by progress in psychometrics (e.g. with respect to standardized interview and self-rating techniques), data storage and handling as well as multivariate statistical data analysis. However, the psychopathometric approach has to be based on a profound knowledge of the classical (qualitative) approach in order to avoid misconceptions. The results of both ways to recognize and analyse abnormal mental phenomena are generally well compatible with each other, e.g., concerning the syndromatology and the course of mental disorders. Yet some findings of. quantitative analyses of such phenomena were unexpected from preceding qualitative analyses, e.g. the extent of depressive symptomatology in acute episodes of schizophrenic Psychoses and the decrease or even disappearance of these symptoms during neuroleptic medication. In addition, careful quantitative analyses of clinical ratings of psychopathology have revealed examples of misconceptions of psychopathological terms such as perplexity. These misunderstandings are partly due to a neglect of the classical literature on psychopathology by many younger psychiatrists and to their lack of clinical experience with mental disorders of an organic origin. Systematic training in psychopathology and in the application of psychopathometric methods could improve the quality of ratings. The establishment of neuropsychiatric / neuropsychological departments could fill the gap between psychiatry and neurology and fertilize the interdisciplinary dialogue between the two disciplines in clinical practice and research so necessary for an optimal understanding and treatment of psycho-organic syndrome