Avoiding clinical bias in psychiatry

by Dr Prasanna N. de Silva


Last reviewed: June 2019


In psychiatric practice, bias in judgements (for example, diagnosis and risk assessment) and decisions (when and how to treat) is likely to be due to the inherent ambiguity of presenting features (think of the Mona Lisa painting) and the uncertainty of outcome.


This module describes a number of recognised biases in thinking, along with suggestions on how to avoid or compensate for these tendencies.


Furthermore, ways of looking at (and learning from) outcome are reviewed, taking into account the finding that active observation in itself can change the presentation and outcome.


This module offers guidance on:


  • definitions of judgements, decisions and outcome



Start the module




If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


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Clinical errors and medical negligence by Dr Anupam Dharmadhikari and Professor Femi Oyebode


How patient-centred are you? Shared decision-making in psychiatric practice by Dr Robert Chaplin and Dr Alan Quirk


Patient safety in mental health by Rachel Paskell


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