Since 1 January Blom had occupied the chair in Clinical Psychopathology at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, instituted by the Parnassia Group. Clinical psychopathology is the science that describes and classifies psychiatric syndromes that are the foundation for treatment.
Gap between theory and practiceIn his lecture Blom will address the way in which serious psychiatric syndromes are described in DSM-5, the standard work or 'map', and the gap that is becoming increasingly apparent between this map and what it refers to: the symptoms that patients experience in practice. This is particularly applicable to schizophrenia.
Uniform languageThe advantage of the DSM system is that clinicians and researchers are able to speak a uniform language and can diagnose a disturbance on the basis of uniform criteria. In clinical practice, however, the description of schizophrenia is so broad that there is a risk that numerous patients are wrongly being diagnosed with schiphrenia. As a result these patients are being treated with antipsychotic drugs while an alternative treatment would be more effective.
Improving careIn his lecture Blom will mention a number of examples of disturbances that in practice are often mistaken for schzophrenia, and he will explain how empirical scientific research can contribute to improving care for people with diverse psychotic disturbances.
The ideal that he is aiming for is 'personalized medicine': treatment tailored precisely to the individual. And a method of diagnosis and treatment that recognses the individual with his or her unique combination of symptoms, characteristics, coping mechanisms and talents. To realise this ideal, a number of steps have to be taken before this ideal can be realised. Blom, as a professor and clinician, wants to contribute to this aim.