SECTION A: PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
AO1 = 9 marks Description of issues surrounding the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia. There are many issues surrounding the classification and diagnosis of mental disorders in general, most of which are related in some way to the idea of reliability and validity. It is acceptable to describe overarching issues as long as they have relevance to schizophrenia.
However, there are some issues, which are particularly relevant to schizophrenia eg the range of sub-types of schizophrenia and the difficulty of distinguishing between them. For AO1 credit, candidates need to identify some of these issues. For example:
• The reliability of the major classification systems ICD and DSM
• The availability of other diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia eg Schneider criteria
• The lack of homogeneity in schizophrenic symptoms
• The problems of labelling
• The problem of co-morbidity
• The problem of distinguishing schizophrenia from, for example, mood or personality disorders • The lack of objective tests for schizophrenia
• The difficulty of being able to predict outcome or response to treatment
• Cultural differences in symptom presentation
• The question of whether schizophrenia is a mental disorder at all
Candidates who simply offer lists of signs and symptoms of schizophrenia or who describe classification systems are not really addressing the issues surrounding diagnosis and classification. Such material is rudimentary.
Examiners should be mindful of a depth/breadth trade-off here – candidates can describe a few issues in detail or more issues in less detail.
There is considerable overlap between the issues of classification and diagnosis so partial performance criteria do not apply.
AO2/3 = 16 marks Discussion of issues surrounding the classification and diagnosis of schizophrenia including methodological evaluation of the evidence.
Candidates achieve AO2/3 credit by evaluating and…