Aims of diagnosis and classification

In both general medicine and psychiatry, diagnosis is used to collect experiences concerning treatment and prognosis. Ideally, no treatment should be given without previous diagnosis. Diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis may be more standardized in general medicine than in psychiatry, but even less accurate diagnoses, such as often occur in psychiatry, are needed. Practical and scientific work performed in the clinical field cannot be communicated without a system of comparable diagnoses. Research cannot be conducted without a means of comparing groups of patients. Epidemiological data concerning different diagnoses can provide planning data for services needed in future and can enable administrative bodies to perform cost-benefit calculations. These different aims may point to different types or arrangements of diagnoses and classification according to the particular need.

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