Get access

Diagnosis in developmental–behavioural paediatrics: The art of diagnostic formulation

Authors

  • Mick O'Keeffe,

    Corresponding author
    1. Child Development Program, Royal Children's Hospital Health Service District, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
      Dr Mick O'Keeffe, Child Development Unit, C/- Northwest Community Health Centre, 49 Corrigan Street, Keperra, Brisbane, Qld 4054, Australia. Fax: +61 7 3335 8713; email: michael_o'keeffe@health.qld.gov.au
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Caroline Macaulay

    1. Child Development Program, Royal Children's Hospital Health Service District, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Dr Mick O'Keeffe, Child Development Unit, C/- Northwest Community Health Centre, 49 Corrigan Street, Keperra, Brisbane, Qld 4054, Australia. Fax: +61 7 3335 8713; email: michael_o'keeffe@health.qld.gov.au

Abstract

This paper considers diagnostic frameworks in developmental–behavioural paediatrics. The purpose of a diagnostic assessment is reviewed, and the use of categorical diagnoses is explored. A multi-level process of diagnostic formulation is outlined, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive focus on presenting symptoms, neuropsychological constructs, biological factors and environmental influences. The axis of time, developmental benchmarks and the enhancement of resilience are discussed as part of the diagnostic formulation framework. Limitations imposed on diagnostic practice by systemic and personal factors are reviewed. Implications for training and practice are discussed.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary