Construct models in veterinary behavioural medicine: lessons from the human experience

Sheppard, G. and Mills, D. S. (2003) Construct models in veterinary behavioural medicine: lessons from the human experience. Veterinary Research Communications, 27 (3). pp. 175-191. ISSN 0165-7380

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Veterinary behavioural medicine is marked by inconsistency in the naming and description of animal behavioural disorders, potentially hindering research and reducing the clinical utility of diagnoses. Sources of diagnostic inconsistency are suggested and parallels with human psychiatry are identified. This paper questions the use of categorical models as the basis for classification and reviews criticisms of categorical approaches in psychiatry. Evidence is presented to suggest an inconsistency between discrete categories and the structure of animal behavioural disorders. The potential benefits of exploring alternative models are discussed. It is concluded that it is important to move away from an approach based on advocacy and towards objective assessment of all available data. Existing diagnoses should be viewed as hypothetical constructs, with the underlying hypotheses being identified and subject to investigation. It is emphasized that global communication, empirical investigations and critical review are necessary for the development of a solid scientific basis within veterinary behavioural medicine.

Keywords:animal behavior, behavior disorder, data analysis, diagnostic value, disease classification, disease model, ethology, experience, human, human versus animal comparison, hypothesis, nonhuman, psychiatry, review, veterinary medicine, Animal Diseases, Animals, Mental Disorders, Models, Psychological, Animalia
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D210 Clinical Veterinary Medicine
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:9088
Deposited On:06 May 2013 16:54

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