Diagnostic Classification: The Current Challenge in Failure to Thrive Syndrome Research

  • Joseph Woolston


Diagnostic classification is the cornerstone for the development of valid research about virtually any phenomenon. Attempts to prevent, treat, or in any other way intervene, with an inherently heterogeneous problem without a valid classification system will be doomed to failure. One can imagine the dilemma in which medicine would be if “fevers” were still held to be a homogeneous disorder as was believed in the 18th century. Aspirin would be held to be a nearly universal treatment, while penicillin would probably be viewed as being about as effective as a placebo because of the many non-penicillin responsive courses of fever. One can imagine that such a classification might define such subcategories as high, acute fever; spiking fevers; and low, chronic fevers. Once again these subcategories would be highly misleading because of the etiological heterogeneity.


Developmental Delay Physical Illness Ideal Body Weight Child Psychiatry Growth Failure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Woolston
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale Child Study CenterUSA

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