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Title: Deconstructing Schizophrenia : uncovering evidence of a severity continuum model of psychosis
Author: Fleming, Michael P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 782X
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2012
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The schizophrenia syndrome was developed with the aim of distinguishing between those people that have the syndrome and those people that do not and between those people with the syndrome and those people with other distinct syndromes. The basis for syndromes to be recognised is that they are made up of symptoms unique to that syndrome and that the pattern between those symptoms determines onset, course and prognosis. Valid syndromes are then used to identify the disease agent that causes these symptoms to occur and vary together. Once a disease agent is identified, it is possible to develop treatments that eliminate the disease agent. In the hundred years since its development, the schizophrenia syndrome has failed to deliver these expected outcomes. Problems remain regarding reliability of diagnosis, aetiology and the effective treatment. Despite these shortcomings, the Syndrome Model of schizophrenia continues to have a monopoly in terms of research into aetiology and dominates clinical practice. It has failed to establish a cause and leading biological researchers have acknowledged this deficit. The reason for these deficits is a flaw in the validity of the syndrome. Poor validity is inferred by the lack of uniqueness of symptoms and variations in symptoms across different populations. One of the main principles that protect syndrome validity is the notion of discontinuity. In order for a syndrome to make a distinction between those with the syndrome and those that do not, a discontinuum between these two groups is required. If a syndrome is not supported by this discontinuum this would seriously impinge on its ability to effectively function as syndrome and would account for the deficiencies noted above. Compelling evidence is emerging that members of the general population experience the symptoms of psychosis. Studies have found that the prevalence of auditory hallucinations and delusions are experienced in rates higher than those found in clinical populations. This is evidence that would suggest a Severity Continuum of Psychosis exists rather than the assumed discontinuum.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available