DSM-5 Draft Criteria Open for Public Comment

Wed May 02, 2012

Contact:                                                                        For Immediate Release
Eve Herold, 703-907- 8640                                       Release No. 24
Erin Connors, 703-907-8562

DSM-5 Draft Criteria Open for Public Comment
Mental health diagnostic manual available for final online comment period

ARLINGTON, Va. (May 2, 2012) – For a third and final time, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) invites public comment on the proposed criteria for the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). DSM is the handbook used by health care professionals as an authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders.

The public comment period will last six weeks, beginning May 2 and continuing until June 15. All responses submitted via the DSM-5 website will be considered by the DSM-5 Work Groups, which are charged with assessing the latest scientific evidence and recommending the disorder definitions and criteria to be included in the manual. Nearly 10,800 comments from health care professionals, mental health advocates, families and consumers were submitted in the first two public comment periods in 2010 and 2011.

"The comments we have received over the past two years have helped sharpen our focus, not only on the strongest research and clinical evidence to support DSM-5 criteria but on the real-world implications of these changes," said APA President John M. Oldham, M.D. "We appreciate the public's interest and continued participation in the DSM-5 development process."

In preparation for this final comment period, members of the DSM-5 Task Force and Work Groups have updated their proposals for diagnostic criteria. The revised criteria reflect recently published research, results from DSM-5 field testing of the criteria and public comments received since 2010.

Key changes posted for this round of public review include:

  • Revised proposals to place Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome and Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder in Section III of the manual, covering conditions that require further research before their consideration as formal disorders
  • Added language to Major Depressive Disorder criteria to help differentiate between normal bereavement associated with a significant loss and a diagnosis of a mental disorder
  •  Added rationale for changes to Personality Disorders, with field trial data now supporting the reliability of dimensional measures and the categorical diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Modified diagnostic criteria for Pedophilic Disorder to make the category more consistent with the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases
  • Condensed  diagnoses within Communication Disorders to only include Language Disorders and Speech Disorders
  • A proposal for a new diagnosis of Suicidal Behavioral Disorder
  • Modified diagnostic criteria for numerous disorders, including some in the Neurocognitive Disorders and Anxiety Disorders chapters
  • A proposed Cultural Formulation Interview, which includes specific questions to help clinicians more effectively assess cultural aspects of psychiatric diagnosis

A detailed list of changes made to draft proposals since July 2011 can be found on www.DSM5.org.

Revisions to DSM reflect scientific advances in the field and new knowledge gained since the last manual was published in 1994. Since 1999, more than 500 mental health and medical researchers and clinicians from the United States and abroad have been involved in the planning, review and deliberations for DSM-5. Field trials in both large academic medical centers and routine clinical practices have tested select criteria.

Feedback to the proposed diagnostic criteria can be submitted through www.DSM5.org, which will be available until the comment period ends June 15. After that, the site will remain viewable but will be closed to comments as the Work Groups and Task Force complete revisions and submit criteria for evaluation by the Scientific Review Committee and the Clinical and Public Health Committee. The Task Force will then make final recommendations to the APA Board of Trustees. The final version of DSM-5 is expected to go before the Board of Trustees in December 2012.

“As with every stage in this thorough development process, DSM-5 is benefiting from a depth of research, expertise and diverse opinion that will ultimately strengthen the final document,” noted David J. Kupfer, M.D., chair of the DSM-5 Task Force.

Publication of DSM-5 is expected in May 2013.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental health, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org and www.HealthyMinds.org.


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