In all aspects, science demands evidence, and that is where the validity of results come in. The diagnosis of mental illnesses differs with that of physical ailments. For example, diagnosing malaria is a simple process that with tests can be diagnosed. One takes the patient’s blood, tests it for the parasites that cause the disease and makes the diagnosis. There is no room for subjectivity or debate. For many physical diseases, the diagnosis accuracy rate is 100%. The same cannot be said of mental illnesses including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
For these two, the only definite diagnosis can come after death when pathologists inspect the brain under a microscope (Eaton et al, 2012). The damage is usually not clearly defined in scans, and can be overlooked. However, there are standardized tests for the disease, to help understand the outcome of what is happening to the patient. These tests are based on evidence gathered over the years through research and reports by medical professionals. The oral and written assessment questions are standard and based the standard view of how they should be answered by a person without any issues. However, there are still many aspects of the diagnosis that are subjective. One assessor might see signs of dementia while another disagrees. It is the reason that even the best have an accuracy rate of 90% when it comes to diagnosis.
Validity does present a problem in several ways. One of them is that it makes it much easier for practitioners to misdiagnose a patient and get away with it. With the assessment having subjective aspects, practitioners have much more legal room than doctors dealing with physical ailments (Eaton e...
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... gets trodden upon. The more a government is involved in research, the more facts it will have with which to judge data provided by pharmaceutical companies.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are different. The former is a group of symptoms while the latter is a progressive brain disease. John has dementia as the symptoms in the case indicate. He, however, needs to have scans of his brain done to confirm the absence of any other illness. Diagnosis of mental illnesses is in many ways subjective. It is the reason that culture has such an effect on the diagnostic processes and results. Pharmaceutical companies also affect the industry through sponsorship of research, support of KOLs and advertising. The country and the industry, therefore, have to raise their respective ethical codes. Otherwise, the validity of diagnoses will continue to fall to the detriment of mental health.
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