Purdue researchers support new criteria for mental illness categories, diagnosis

Purdue researchers support new criteria for mental illness categories, diagnosis

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN (WFIE) - Purdue University sent the information in a press release:

Three Purdue University psychological sciences professors collaborated with 50 experts in psychology and psychiatry to improve the understanding and diagnosis of mental illness.

The HiTOP, Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology, was published on Thursday (March 23). "The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A Dimensional Alternative to Traditional Nosologies" is published online at the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

"The current categorization of mental illness is not optimal, so this consortium collaborated on a new diagnostic model based on the most current scientific evidence," says Douglas Samuel, an assistant professor in clinical psychology. "The goal is to help improve diagnosis and treatment, by creating a hierarchy that breaks away from traditional categories, such as major depression, and focuses instead of the common elements and symptoms across a range of mental disorders."

This ultimate goal of this approach to diagnosis is to help improve the treatment options. Mental illness diagnosis is complex as patients may have somewhat different symptoms, but share the same diagnosis. The HiTOP model aims to improve upon this by more clearly articulating the dimensions of psychopathology.

This initiative was led by Roman Kotov, an associate professor of psychiatry from Stony Brook University. The Purdue team that collaborated on this project also includes Purdue's Donald Lynam, distinguished professor clinical psychology, and Susan South, an associate professor of clinical psychology.

Professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as the guideline for diagnosis, and the consortium hopes these new guidelines will be included in the manual's next update.

Copyright 2017 WFIE. All rights reserved.