Classification and Epidemiology

  • Kostas N. Fountoulakis


The principle of classification is that it is a reductionist process by which complex phenomena can be grouped into categories on the basis of objective and stringent criteria. Often the criteria are less reliable and valid than expected or needed; however, many researchers follow the opinion of Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908–2009) that ‘any classification is better than no classification at all’. On the other hand, classification itself has an impact on nosology since it often gives birth to interest groups of experts and followers and it might trigger vicious circles concerning their survival. Once classification follows a specific path, a radical change is often difficult if not impossible and this is evident from the way modern classification systems move on from previous to the next edition.


Lifetime Prevalence Composite International Diagnostic Interview National Comorbidity Survey Annual Prevalence Bipolar Spectrum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kostas N. Fountoulakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Neurosciences 3rd Department of PsychiatryAristotle University of Thessaloniki School of MedicineThessalonikiGreece

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