Study suggests overdiagnosis of schizophrenia: Reported symptoms of anxiety and hearing voices most common reasons for misdiagnosis by non-specialty physicians -- ScienceDaily
In speculating about other reasons why there might be so many misdiagnoses, the researchers say that it could be due to overly simplified application of criteria listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a standard guide to the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders.
"Electronic medical record systems, which often use pull-down diagnostic menus, increase the likelihood of this type of error," says Margolis, who refers to the problem as "checklist psychiatry."
"The big take-home message from our study is that careful consultative services by experts are important and likely underutilized in psychiatry," says Margolis. "Just as a primary care clinician would refer a patient with possible cancer to an oncologist or a patient with possible heart disease to a cardiologist, it's important for general mental health practitioners to get a second opinion from a psychiatry specialty clinic like ours for patients with confusing, complicated or severe conditions. This may minimize the possibility that a symptom will be missed or overinterpreted."