spectrum disorder

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spectrum disorder (plural spectrum disorders)

  1. (medicine, psychology, pathology) A physiological or psychological disorder which may take any of a range of forms or be indicated by any of a range of symptoms.
    • 2007, June 9, Lisa Hitchen, "Doctors advise women not to drink alcohol during pregnancy," British Medical Journal, vol. 334, no. 7605, p. 1186:
      However, there is no reliable evidence on the incidence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in the United Kingdom.
    • 2008 Dec., Nancy M. Ridgway at al., "Doctors advise women not to drink alcohol during pregnancy," vol. 35, no. 4, p. 623:
      Today, many researchers believe that compulsive buying should be considered as exhibiting elements of both obsessive-compulsive and impulse-control disorders, calling this theory obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder.
    • 1975, R. N. Curnow and Charles Smith, "Multifactorial Models for Familial Diseases in Man," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A, vol. 138, no. 2, p. 165:
      [T]he proportion of relatives shown as affected with schizophrenia actually consists of definite plus uncertain diagnoses of schizophrenia plus a hard-to-define category of "schizophrenia spectrum disorder".

Usage notes[edit]

  • Most commonly used with reference to psychiatric disorders.

Derived terms[edit]