Course refers to the pattern of development and change of a disorder over time.

In psychology, the term "course" refers to the development or progression of a particular disorder or condition over time. This can include the trajectory of symptoms, severity, and treatment response. Here are some examples of how the term "course" might be used in different contexts:

  • The course of major depressive disorder can vary widely, with some individuals experiencing a single episode while others have recurrent episodes over a period of many years.
  • In schizophrenia, the course of the disorder can be divided into several phases, including prodromal (early warning signs), active (symptoms are present), and residual (symptoms are reduced but not absent).
  • The course of substance use disorders can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the substance used, the frequency and duration of use, and individual factors such as genetics and environment.
  • When evaluating the course of a particular treatment, researchers may look at how symptoms change over time, how many individuals respond to the treatment, and whether there are any adverse effects that could impact the overall course of the disorder.

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