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Clinical Judgement

Introduction

‘Clinical judgement’ refers generally to the result of a set of cognitive activities that aim to: (a) classify an observed behavioural pattern into a nosological system category (diagnostic judgement); (b) predict the development of an observed behavioural pattern under a given treatment, or under particular environmental conditions (predictive judgement, or prognosis); (c) estimate the degree of severity of a disorder (severity judgement); and (d) make an informed decision about the best treatment (treatment judgement).

Many published works describe how diagnostic and prognostic judgements are made. Some propose theoretical models to represent diagnostic and prognostic judgements, but little has been published about severity- and treatment-judgements.

A clinical judgement is the result of three main complex activities: data collection, data evaluation, and information integration. Because these activities are sequential, ...

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