In addition to proposed changes to specific diagnostic criteria, the APA is proposing that "dimensional assessments" be added to diagnostic evaluations of mental disorders. These would permit clinicians to evaluate the severity of symptoms, as well as take into account "cross-cutting" symptoms that exist across a number of different diagnoses (such as insomnia or anxiety).
"We know that anxiety is often associated with depression, for example, but the current DSM doesn't have a good system for capturing symptoms that don't fit neatly into a single diagnosis, said David Kupfer, M.D., chair of the DSM-5 Task Force. "Dimensional assessments represent an important benefit for clinicians evaluating and treating patients with mental illness. It may help them better evaluate how a patient is improving with treatment, help them address symptoms that affect a patient's quality of life and better assess patients whose symptoms may not yet be severe leading to earlier effective treatment."
Careful Consideration of Gender, Race and Ethnicity
The process for developing the proposed diagnostic criteria for DSM-5 has included careful consideration of how gender, race and ethnicity may affect the diagnosis of mental illness. The team has sought significant involvement of women, members of diverse racial and ethnic groups, and international researchers and clinicians. The APA also designated a specific study group to review and research these issues, and ensure they were taken into account in the development of diagnostic criteria.
The Gender and Cross-Cultural Study Group reviewed epidemiological data sets from the United States and other countries to determine if there were significant differences in incidence of mental illness among different subgroups (e.g., gender, race and ethnicity) that might indicate a bias in currently-used diag
|Contact: Jaime Valora|
American Psychiatric Association