Jim van Os

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Jim van Os (born 1960) is a Dutch professor of psychiatry and epidemiology.


Van Os studied medicine in Amsterdam, psychiatry in Jakarta, Casablanca, Bordeaux and London, and subsequently epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He is professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Maastricht University Medical Centre, and visiting professor at the Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, DeCrespigny Park, London, United Kingdom.

In 2011 he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[1]

Theory regarding schizophrenia[edit]

In 2009, van Os proposed the retirement of the diagnosis of schizophrenia, citing its lack of validity and the risk of fundamental attribution error associated with the label. The latter could cause difficulties on the part of the clinician with communicating with the diagnosed person due to the former's holding of erroneous preconceptions associated with the label.

In its place, van Os proposed a broad and general syndromal definition, more suited to personal diagnosis which would reduce attribution error,[2] citing previous work by other researchers that explains psychosis as aberrant salience regulation.[3]

He explained his views in a 2014 TED talk,[4] and appeared on the Thomson-Reuter Web of Science list of 'the world’s most influential scientific minds of our time' (2014/2015).[5] and 2015, co-authored an article in a national newspaper suggesting 'schizo-labels' should be abandoned and replaced by more scientific and patient-friendly terminology.[6] The week after, his colleagues Rene Kahn, Iris Sommer and Damiaan Denys published a counter-article, labelling Van Os and colleagues as 'antipsychiatrists' [7]

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • van Os, J. & Kapur, S. (2009) Schizophrenia; Lancet, 374, 635-645.
  • van Os J, Kenis G, Rutten BP. The environment and schizophrenia. Nature. 2010;468(7321):203-212.
  • McGorry P, van Os J. Redeeming diagnosis in psychiatry. Timing versus specificity. Lancet. 2013;381:343-345.
  • van Os, J. (2009) 'Salience syndrome' replaces 'schizophrenia' in DSM-V and ICD-11: psychiatry's evidence-based entry into the 21st century? Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 120, 363-372.
  • Van Os, J., Linscott, R.J., Myin-Germeys, I., Delespaul, P. & Krabbendam, L. (2009) A systematic review and meta-analysis of the psychosis continuum: evidence for a psychosis proneness-persistence-impairment model of psychotic disorder; Psychological Medicine, 39, 179-195.
  • Tamminga, C., Sirovatka, P., Regier, D.A. & Van Os, J. (2010) Deconstructing Psychosis: Refining the Research Agenda for DSM-V (Arlington, Virginia, American Psychiatric Association).


External links[edit]