Precision psychiatry: promise for the future or rehash of a fossilised foundation?

A.C.J. Kohne*, J. van Os

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review


Precision psychiatry is currently described as an approach that would bring significant advance to psychiatric clinical practice. Theaim of this article is to investigate Precision Psychiatry's promise for the future; should we substantially invest in this new approach? Thearticle is based on a review of the literature and reports a conceptual analysis. A critical examination of Precision Psychiatry's foundationsshows us that its fundaments are obsolete and flawed: we cannot reduce mental suffering to essences in biology. It is problematic to state-that biological processes hold and capture qualia and meaning, and in themselves and without context would hold and capture somethinglike abnormality. Despite its good efforts, precision psychiatry does not represent a sufficiently promising alternative to the phenotyping thatcomes with the current classification systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0033291721000271
Pages (from-to)1409-1411
Number of pages3
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Mental disorder
  • biomarkers
  • qualia
  • representational problem
  • therapeutic relationship
  • TIME

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