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Webinar: Is Schizophrenia Dead Yet?

By Hakon Heimer Posted on 15 Nov 2017

Jim van Os  eske_derksrene_kahnjeff_liebermanRobin Murray 

                                                (l to r: J. van Os, E. Derks, R. Kahn, J. Lieberman, R. Murray)

On Tuesday, 28 November, SRF hosted a discussion on whether "schizophrenia" remains a valid or useful term/diagnostic category. The webinar was cosponsored by the journal Psychological Medicine, which recently published an opinion piece on the topic by Sinan Guloksuz and Jim van Os of the University of Maastricht, along with letters of response. Thanks to the journal for providing open access to the article and letters. (download below)

Van Os and his colleagues have consistently advanced the notion of a continuum of psychosis, with transitory or mild hallucinations, delusions, etc. experienced by "normal" people at one end and chronic and severe psychosis at the other end of the spectrum. Not only is this position supported by the research base, they argue, but adopting this position would in turn lead to further progress in research, not to mention more effective treatment and reduced stigma.

We heard from van Os, as well as from Psychological Medicine Editor Robin Murray, Rene Kahn of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and Jeffrey Lieberman of Columbia University.

Unfortunately, technical difficulties plagued our prerecorded presentation by Eske Derks of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, but you can watch it below.

We invite you to submit comments below on the webinar.



Guloksuz S, van Os J. The slow death of the concept of schizophrenia and the painful birth of the psychosis spectrum. Psychol Med. 2017 Jul 10:1-16. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717001775. PubMed

Download article

Curtis D, Derks EM. Letter to the Editor: Schizophrenia does not represent the extreme of a normally distributed trait. Psychol Med. 2017 Aug 29:1-2. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717002422. PubMed

Download article

Bora E. Letter to the Editor: The half-alive concept of schizophrenia is still better than the spectrum of everything. Psychol Med. 2017 Aug 29:1-2. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717002446.  PubMed

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Zoghbi AW, Lieberman JA. Letter to the Editor: Alive but not well: the limited validity but continued utility of the concept of schizophrenia. Psychol Med. 2017 Oct 26:1-2. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717001969. PubMed

Download article

Kahn RS. Letter to the Editor: Why the concept of schizophrenia is still alive and kicking. Psychol Med. 2017 Oct 26:1-2. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717002069. PubMed

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S. Guloksuz, J. van Os. Authors’ reply: Psychosis Spectrum Disorder is a clinical diagnosis. Psychol Med. 2017 Sep 14:1-2. Early View

Download Article


Listen to the Webinar

Listen to Eske Derks's Presentation

Jim van Os's Slides

Eske Derks's Slides

Rene Kahn's Slides

Robin Murray's Slides

Last comment on 28 Nov 2017 by John P. John


Submitted by John P. John on

As a clinician, I must say that I hardly ever have any difficulty in identifying the 'real' schizophrenia. The difficulty arises only when I wear the hat of a schizophrenia researcher!! Researchers in schizophrenia should ask themselves this question: are we complicating a reasonably straightforward clinical condition that has 'stood the test of time' for more than a century!!