Problems of psychopathologic systematics: alternative approaches and clinical practice requests

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The reliability and validity of traditional classifications give rise to justifiable criticism because of the conventionality of the boundaries between norm and pathology, fuzzy delimitation of disorders and their frequent co-occurrence, heterogeneity and clinical instability of symptoms within the diagnostic categories. There is little evidence that the majority of mental disorders are discrete entities. Discontent with the expert consensus classifications have led to attempts at a new quantitative and empirical systematization of psychopathology. Two alternative projects have been proposed: Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) and the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). The aim of the paper is to clarify the conceptual framework of RDoC and HiTOP, discuss their advantages and disadvantages in terms of the prospects for use in clinical practice.

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About the authors

Мikhail L. Zobin

Centre of transformational therapy of addictions “Dobrota”

Author for correspondence.

Montenegro, 85330, Kotor, Dobrota BB

Natalia V. Ustinova

Pediatric research Institute of Central Clinical Hospital of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Research and practical center for mental health of children and adolescents named after G.E. Sukhareva


Russian Federation, 199333, Moscow, ul. Fotievoy, 10, bld. 1; 119334, Moscow, 5 th Donskoy proezd, 21a


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Fig. 2. Phased working model [15]

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