In acknowledgement of the challenges posed by the diagnosis of mental disorders in people with intellectual disability (ID), the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a multi‐axial guide to assist clinicians in applying the ICD‐10 to this group of people. The WHO has invited users to review of the ICD‐10 Guide for Mental Retardation. In order to review its usefulness in clinical practice, the present authors used the Guide together with the ICD‐10 in the psychiatric assessment of 106 young people with ID, and emotional and behavioural problems of varying severity. Strengths and weaknesses in the utility of the Guide were noted. As a result of the clinical audit process, the present authors identified a number of inconsistencies, significant gaps and assertions unsupported by the available literature in the Guide. They also noted aspects of the ICD‐10 itself which are problematic when applied to people with ID. Despite these limitations, the Guide is a valuable first attempt to establish a standardized structure for multi‐axial diagnosis in this population. A number of suggestions for major changes and refinements to future editions are made, and a strategy for development of research to establish validity and reliability is proposed.
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1999
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