What Did We Learn from Research on Comorbidity In Psychiatry? Advantages and Limitations in the Forthcoming DSM-V Era
Liliana Dell’Osso, Stefano Pini*
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2012
First Page: 180
Last Page: 184
Publisher Id: CPEMH-8-180
Article History:Received Date: 03/5/2012
Revision Received Date: 13/6/2012
Acceptance Date: 23/6/2012
Electronic publication date: 10/12/2012
Collection year: 2012
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
Despite the large amount of research conducted in this area over the last two decades, comorbidity of psychiatric disorders remains a topic of major practical and theoretical significance.
Official diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines of psychiatric disorders still do not provide clinicians and researchers with any treatment-specific indications for those cases presenting with psychiatric comorbidity. We will discuss the diagnostic improvement brought about, in clinical practice, by the punctual and refined recognition of threshold and subthreshold comorbidity. From such a perspective, diagnostic procedures and forthcoming systems of classification of mental disorders should attempt to combine descriptive, categorical and dimensional approaches, addressing more attention to the cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of nuclear, subclinical, and atypical symptoms that may represent a pattern of either full-blown or partially expressed psychiatric comorbidity. This should certainly be regarded as a positive development. Parallel, continuous critical challenge seems to be vital in this area, in order to prevent dangerous trivializations and misunderstandings.