Measuring Mental Disorders

Measuring Mental Disorders

Psychiatry, Science and Society

1st Edition - November 21, 2018

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  • Editor: Philippe Le Moigne
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128172520
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9781785483059

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This book is a collective work draws on the perspective of social sciences, mobilizing perspectives from the sociology of science, the history of psychiatry, medical ethnography and public policy analysis. This initiative, which has no precedent in social sciences, is surrounded by an original, if not apparently paradoxical statement: considering that the deployment of these processes, strictly formal and depersonalized, is justified in becoming the rule in a society known as "individuals".

Key Features

  • Presents the measurement of mental disorders (tests / scales) across the various sectors
  • Determines the underpinning of this measure and its performance
  • Explains the rise of these tests and its success
  • Understands its impact on users


Researchers and students (in the social sciences, psychiatry and psychology as well as), psychiatrists, psychologists, clinicians, therapists, patients, decision makers

Table of Contents

  • Part 1. Basic Principles: Strengths and Limitations of Psychiatric Assessment Tools
    1. The Spread of Psychiatric Nosography into Science: Origins and Issues of the Research on Depression (1950–1985)
    2. The Hamilton Scale as an Analyzer for the Epistemological Difficulties in Research on Depression

    Part 2. Developments: Chronicles of Successful Tests
    3. A Golden Standard to Evaluate OCD: On the Use of the Y-BOCS
    4. Objectifying Dementia: the Use of the Mini-Mental State Exam in Medical Research and Practice

    Part 3. Uses: the Tests in Context
    5. The MMSE in Practice: the Medical Relationship Reflected through the Administration of a Neuropsychological Test
    6. From Care to Risk Prevention: the Success of Screening Tests for Drugs at the Workplace (United States/France)

Product details

  • No. of pages: 302
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © ISTE Press - Elsevier 2018
  • Published: November 21, 2018
  • Imprint: ISTE Press - Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128172520
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9781785483059

About the Editor

Philippe Le Moigne

Philippe Le Moigne holds a PhD in sociology. He is a researcher at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and teaches at the University of Paris René Descartes. His research first focused on the prescription and consumption of psychotropic drugs in the general population. He then became interested in the history, use and epistemology of measuring instruments designed by psychiatry, particularly in the field of depression. This question led him later to address more broadly the problem of the applicability of experimental methods to the knowledge and treatment of mental disorders. In these different areas, Philippe Le Moigne's analyzes focus on the effects that the personalization of social life has had on psychiatric practice and research. He showed how this trend has given legitimacy to individual ill-being and worked in this direction to spread psychotropic drugs, well beyond the treatment of mental disorders. In the same way, Philippe Le Moigne sought to explain why the use of measuring instruments ended up dominating psychiatric knowledge, showing how, in this context of personalization, clinical practice seemed to be able to give rise only to subjective judgments

Affiliations and Expertise

Sociologist, Research Fellow at French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) - UCL

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