By Raghu N. Gaind, Barbara L. Hudson
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Additional resources for Current Themes in Psychiatry 1
Diagnoses are useful in medicine because they transmit information quickly and succinctly. If doctor A tells doctor B that a patient has pernicious anaemia, then doctor B knows a great deal about the patient's condition, his 24 CURRENT THEMES IN PSYCHIATRY appearance, the pathology, his prognosis, and the treatment required, before he sets eye on the sufferer. If doctor A tells doctor B that he has another patient who is a psychopath then doctor B will need to ask a lot of searching questions before he has a picture of the patient in his mind's eye.
We found two problems: firstly we could not get reliability when we tried to measure some of the psychopathic characteristics such as occupational instability; secondly, using the measures on which we could obtain reliability we failed to extract any general factor of psychopathy. Diagnoses are useful in medicine because they transmit information quickly and succinctly. If doctor A tells doctor B that a patient has pernicious anaemia, then doctor B knows a great deal about the patient's condition, his 24 CURRENT THEMES IN PSYCHIATRY appearance, the pathology, his prognosis, and the treatment required, before he sets eye on the sufferer.
Hallucinations recorded in exact detail. Fits, blackouts, turns; again recorded in exact detail. This list is by no means exhaustive but it is included to reinforce the point that a full history is a skilled and time consuming affair. It should be regarded as THE TREATMENT OF PSYCHOPATHS 29 stage 1 of any treatment. If only 30-45 minutes per week or even per fortnight can be spared this is no barrier as the picture can be built session by session. Whenever possible every apparently factual item is checked with a relative, or friend, or with previous data.
Current Themes in Psychiatry 1 by Raghu N. Gaind, Barbara L. Hudson