1 Sep, 14 | by BMJ
There is a long tradition in medicine of accepting a degree of mismatch between labels and the functions that they address. A classic example is the stethoscope, through which few of us peer, but which only a terminal pedant would now agitate to be renamed a stethophone.
Recent debate over the redesignation of dementia as “major neurocognitive disorder” in the new DSM-V criteria highlights how the widespread acceptance of a somewhat less accurate descriptor may be more beneficial in terms of engagement with the public and among disciplines.
So, during the Berzelius symposium last month, I was surprised to come across a troubling barrier to developing better care for older people—the key adult users of health services—arising from resistance to an internationally accepted term. more…