ChapterPDF Available

DSM-5: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Authors:
DSM-5
Meghan A. Marty1and Daniel L. Segal2
1Veterans Aairs Palo Alto Health Care System, U.S.A.
and 2University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, U.S.A.
e Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (DSM),publishedbytheAmerican
PsychiatricAssociation,isacompendiumof
mental disorders, a listing of the diagnostic
criteria used to diagnose them, and a detailed
system for their denition, organization, and
classication. is entry includes informa-
tion on: (a) the planning and development
oftheheditionofthemanual(DSM-5),
(b) the general features of the DSM-5 and
changes from previous editions, (c) multicul-
tural and diversity issues in the DSM-5,and
(d) limitations and criticisms of the DSM-5.
Mental disorder refers to “a health condition
characterized by signicant dysfunction in an
individual’s cognitions, emotions, or behaviors
that reects a disturbance in the psycholog-
ical, biological, or developmental processes
underlying mental functioning” (American
Psychiatric Association, 2012). Diagnosis
refers to the identication and labeling of a
mental disorder by examination and analysis
(Segal & Coolidge, 2001). Mental health pro-
fessionals diagnose individuals based on the
symptoms that they report experiencing and
the signs of disorders with which they present.
Whereas the DSM aids professionals in under-
standing, diagnosing, and communicating
about mental disorders through its provision
of explicit diagnostic criteria and an ocial
classication system, no information about
treatment is included.
Planning and Development of the
DSM-5
e DSM-5 is the latest incarnation of the
manual in an evolving process that began with
e Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology, First Edition. Edited by Robin L. Cautin and Scott O. Lilienfeld.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Published 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
DOI: 10.1002/9781118625392.wbecp0308
publication of the original DSM in 1952. More
recently, the DSM-IV was published in 1994
and in 2000 a “text revision” of the manual
(DSM-IV-TR)waspublished,whichslightly
updated some of the content in the manual.
Empirical research and extensive literature
reviews have guided renements in the diag-
nostic manual and its continued development.
In 1999, an initial DSM-5 research planning
conference was convened, which set research
priorities in an eort to expand the scientic
basis for mental health diagnoses and classi-
cation. Between 2006 and 2008, the diagnostic
workgroups were assembled, comprising more
than 160 clinicians and researchers from psy-
chiatry, psychology, social work, psychiatric
nursing, pediatrics, and neurology. In an eort
to ensure broad perspectives were consid-
ered, the work-group members represented
more than 90 academic and mental health
institutions throughout the world, and approx-
imately 30% of the work-group members
were from countries other than the United
States. Additionally, more than 300 advis-
ers, known for their expertise in a particular
eld,providedknowledgetotheworkgroup
members.
Each of the diagnostic workgroups con-
ducted extensive literature reviews, performed
secondary data analyses, solicited feedback
from colleagues and professionals, and ulti-
mately developed the new diagnostic criteria
in their respective areas. Several general prin-
ciples were established to guide the decisions
made by the workgroups about what should be
included, removed, or changed in the revised
manual. ese principles included consid-
eration of the clinical utility of and research
evidence for the revisions, continuity with
the previous edition of the manual when
possible, and no predetermined constraints
on the amount of change permitted. Addi-
tionally, the workgroups were asked to clarify
the boundaries between mental disorders,
2DSM-5
consider symptoms that occur across dier-
ent diagnoses, demonstrate the strength of
the empirical evidence for the recommended
changes, and clarify the boundaries among
specic mental disorders and normal psycho-
logical functioning.
Early dras of the DSM-5 were opened
forpublicreview;theAmericanPsychiatric
Association designated three time periods
during which the general public was invited to
comment on the new diagnostic criteria. Field
trials were conducted between 2010 and 2011
to test the new diagnostic criteria for feasibility,
clinical utility, reliability, and validity in both
academic and nonacademic clinical practice
settings. e release of the nal, approved
DSM-5 occurred in May 2013. e manual
is expected to become a living document,
reecting more frequent revisions. us, the
traditional Roman numeral was dropped from
the title so that future changes prior to the
manual’s next complete revision will be sig-
nied as DSM-5.1,DSM-5.2,andsoforth.
Although far from perfect, the DSM functions
as one of the most comprehensive and thor-
ough manuals used to classify and diagnose
mental disorders. e only major competitor
in the developed world is the World Health
Organizations International Classication of
Diseases (ICD), which is in its tenth edition.
e ICD is also currently undergoing revision
andisexpectedtobewidelycompatiblewith
the DSM-5.
General Features of the DSM-5
Section 1 of the DSM-5 provides an introduc-
tion and includes information on how to use
the manual. In Section 2, mental disorders
are grouped into 22 diagnostic categories.
e structural organization of the DSM-5 is
revised from the previous edition, such that
the individual disorders within a category are
arranged in a developmental lifestyle fashion,
with disorders typically associated with child-
hood presented rst. Additionally, the order
ofthediagnosticcategoriesisdesignedto
closely position diagnostic areas that seem to
be related to one another, reecting advances
in the scientic understanding of mental disor-
ders. Section 3 includes conditions that require
further research, assessment measures, cultural
formulations, a glossary, and a description of
an alternative model for diagnosing personality
disorder (see below).
According to the DSM-5,individualswith
a particular diagnosis (e.g., major depressive
disorder) need not exhibit identical features,
although they should present with certain car-
dinal symptoms (e.g., either depressed mood
or anhedonia). In the DSM-5,thecriteriafor
many mental disorders are polythetic, mean-
ing that an individual must meet a minimum
number of symptoms to be diagnosed, but
not all symptoms need be present (e.g., ve of
nine symptoms must be present to diagnose
depression). Use of polythetic criteria allows
for some variation among people with the
same disorder. However, individuals with the
same disorder should have a similar history in
some areas, for example a typical age of onset,
prognosis, and common comorbid conditions.
Consistent with previous editions, the DSM-5
primarily relies on a categorical approach
to diagnosis so that individuals either have
the disorder (i.e., they meet criteria, they are
diagnosable) or they do not (despite possibly
having several symptoms but not enough to
meet formal criteria).
Notably absent from the DSM-5 is the use
of the multiaxial system. Clinical disorders,
personality disorders, and general medical
conditions (formerly Axes I, II, and III) are
combined into a nonaxial documentation,
with separate notations for psychosocial and
contextual factors (formerly Axis IV) and
disability (formerly Axis V). Regarding the
former Axis V, the Global Assessment of
Functioning scale has been replaced with the
World Health Organization Disability Assess-
ment Schedule (WHODAS) which provides
a global measure of disability. e WHODAS
is based on the International Classication of
Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) for
use across all of medicine and health care, and
islocatedinSection3oftheDSM-5 with other
DSM-53
new assessment measures. An added feature
in the DSM-5 isthemoreprominentuseof
dimensional and crosscutting assessments.
Dimensional assessments are proposed for
inclusion within some existing categorical
diagnoses, with the goal of providing addi-
tional information that assists clinicians in
assessment, treatment planning, and treatment
monitoring. For example, among individuals
with schizophrenia, the severity of the primary
symptoms of psychosis, including delusions,
hallucinations, disorganized speech, abnormal
psychomotor behavior, and negative symp-
toms, may be rated on a dimensional ve-point
scale ranging from 0 (not present)to4(present
and severe). Cross-cutting assessment refers to
the measurement of important clinical areas
that may be relevant beyond specic diagnos-
tic areas, such as depressed mood, anxiety,
substance use, or sleep problems. Such clinical
areas may be relevant for prognosis, treatment
planning,assessmentofoutcome,orrene-
ment of diagnosis, and may be evaluated and
monitored throughout the course of treatment.
Clinical Disorders
e bulk of the DSM-5 comprises 22 broad
clusters under which specic clinical disorders
are subsumed. Examples of clinical disorders
include bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety
disorder, schizophrenia, and anorexia nervosa.
In general, many of the main diagnostic cate-
gories remain largely the same in the DSM-5
as in the previous edition of the manual,
although some new categories were created
(e.g., Neurodevelopmental Disorders; Bipolar
and Related Disorders, Gender Dysphoria,
Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders).
Other modications included moving sev-
eral disorders from one category to another,
renaming some disorders, and deleting some
disorders that had questionable reliability
or validity, reecting advances in empirical
research and understanding of mental-health
disorders. For example, disorders that were
formally classied as “Dementia” are now
renamed “Mild Neurocognitive Disorder” or
“Major Neurocognitive Disorder,” with sub-
types of each identifying the etiology of the
cognitive dysfunction (e.g., Major Neurocog-
nitive Disorder due to Alzheimer’s Disease).
Consistent with the manual’s new dimen-
sional approach, Asperger’s disorder has been
subsumed in a new diagnosis called “Autism
Spectrum Disorder,” which allows for dimen-
sionalratingsofseverityofthesymptomson
a continuum from mild to severe. In addition,
there are a few newly classied disorders, such
as Hoarding Disorder, which falls under the
“Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disor-
ders” category. Finally, some clinical disorders
such as Non-Suicidal Self Injury Disorder
and Persistent Complex Bereavement Dis-
order are included in the manual under a
section designated for disorders that require
further study (in the previously mentioned
Section 3).
Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are inexible and
maladaptive patterns of behavior reecting
extreme variants of normal personality traits
that have become rigid and dysfunctional. Ten
prototypical personality disorders were listed
in the DSM-IV-TR,includingtheantisocial,
avoidant, borderline, dependent, histrionic,
narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, paranoid,
schizoid, and schizotypal personality disor-
ders. Substantial comorbidity and overlap exist
among the personality disorders. e DSM-5
Personality and Personality Disorders Work
Group proposed substantial changes in the
way clinicians assess and diagnose personality
pathology. However, aer extensive debate and
critique of the proposed changes, the DSM-5
included the 10 standard personality disorders
in the main text of the manual and relegated
most of the proposed changes to the latter
portion of the manual so that the changes can
be studied more fully. Nonetheless, the pro-
posal is available for current use if the clinician
wishes.
e workgroup initially recommended the
previous 10 categories be reduced to six spe-
cic personality disorder types, including
4DSM-5
antisocial, avoidant, borderline, narcissistic,
obsessive-compulsive, and schizotypal. One
additional type, Personality Disorder Trait
Specied (PDTS) was suggested to replace
the former Personality Disorder Not Oth-
erwise Specied diagnosis. e workgroup
also proposed that the DSM-5 criteria should
incorporate a dimensional approach, such that
in order to be diagnosed with a personality
disorder an individual must have impairment
in two areas of personality functioning: self
and interpersonal. Impairment of self is related
to identity and self-directedness, whereas
interpersonal impairment is related to one’s
capacity for empathy and intimacy. Levels of
impairment in these areas are supposed to
be rated along a continuum from 0 (healthy
functioning)to4(extreme impairment). Finally,
the workgroup proposed and dened ve
broad personality trait domains, including
negative aectivity, detachment, antagonism,
disinhibition versus compulsivity, and psy-
choticism. Within these ve broad domains are
component trait facets, which vary by disorder.
It was suggested that the personality domain
in DSM-5 be used to describe the personality
characteristics of all patients, whether or not
they have a clinically signicant personality
disorder. e workgroup’s full proposal is
availableforuseinSection3.
In response to these suggested major changes
to the Personality Disorders category in
DSM-5, there has been substantial and some-
times contentious debate in the literature
regarding many of these modications. Most
of the criticisms center around questions about
the empirical basis for many of the changes,
the perceived arbitrariness of the changes,
and the perceived limited clinical utility and
unnecessary complexity of the changes (e.g.,
Livesley, 2012; Zimmerman, 2011). Concerns
among researchers continue to exist about the
limited relevance of some diagnostic criteria
for personality disorders as applied to older
adults and the unique context of later life (Bal-
sis, Segal, & Donahue, 2009; Segal, Coolidge, &
Rosowsky, 2006). Although no major changes
in the personality disorders were formally
adopted in DSM-5,itislikelythatmanyof
the proposed changes will be revisited in
future editions of the manual especially as the
research base continues to clarify whether the
proposed modications increase diagnostic
utility and validity.
Multicultural and Diversity Issues
in the DSM-5
During the DSM-5 development process, study
groups on gender and cross-cultural issues and
on lifespan developmental approaches were
included. In addition, there was an eort to
include international experts in the revision
process, as well as a variety of clinical settings
during the eld trials, to ensure a wide pool
of information on cultural factors in psy-
chopathology and diagnosis. Such information
is necessary to help clinicians and researchers
diagnose individuals outside the majority cul-
ture. e DSM-5 provides an updated version
of the Outline for Cultural Formulation that
was introduced in DSM-IV.isOutlinepro-
vides a framework for assessing information
abouttheroleofcultureinanindividuals
mental health problems. Specically, the Out-
line calls for a thorough assessment of ve
content areas, including the cultural identity
of the individual, cultural conceptualizations
of distress, psychosocial stressors and cul-
tural features of vulnerability and resiliency,
cultural features of the relationship between
clinician and client, and an overall cultural
assessment.
e DSM-5 Outline also presents an
approach to assessment using the Cultural
Formulation Interview (CFI). e CFI con-
tains a set of 16 questions that clinicians may
use during a clinical intake assessment to elicit
information from a client about the possible
impact of culture on dierent aspects of care.
It is designed to be used regardless of the
client’s cultural background or the clinician’s
cultural background or theoretical orientation.
e CFI emphasizes four main domains: (a)
cultural denition of the problem; (b) cultural
perceptions of cause, context, and support;
DSM-55
(c) cultural factors aecting self-coping and
past help-seeking behaviors; and (d) cultural
factors aecting current help-seeking behav-
iors. Although culture purportedly refers to all
aspects of one’s membership in diverse social
groups (e.g., ethnic groups, the military, faith
communities), the CFI appears to emphasize
theimpactofraceandethnicityonones
understanding of one’s diculties. Additional
modules have been developed for populations
with unique needs, such as children, older
adults, and immigrants and refugees, which
can be used to supplement the standard CFI.
Despitesomeapparentimprovements,the
relevance of criteria for some mental disorders
among older adults is addressed in a limited
fashion in the DSM-5.Finally,aGlossaryof
Cultural Concepts of Distress is located in the
Appendix, and includes information about
culture-bound syndromes, the cultures in
which they occur, and a description of the
main psychopathological features.
Limitations and Criticisms
of DSM-5
Although anticipated to improve upon its
predecessors and provide a state-of-the-art
manual for the diagnosis and classication of
mental disorders, the DSM-5 has received some
signicant criticisms. A major criticism is the
dramatic expansion of the boundaries of some
categories, for example attention decit hyper-
activity disorder (ADHD), potentially resulting
in numerous “false positive” diagnoses. A
related controversy regards the expansion in
the number of diagnosable mental disorders,
potentially prompting unnecessary stigmatiza-
tion, intervention, and expense. Indeed, across
editions of the DSM, more mental disorders
have been included in each successive version
as new disorders have been dened to ll in
the gaps between existing disorders. Such pro-
liferation of newly minted disorders raises the
question whether they truly represent distinct
forms of psychopathology or are merely vari-
ations of existing disorders. Other criticisms
include the American Psychiatric Associations
lack of inclusiveness and transparency in the
revision process; the adoption of a dimen-
sional approach to diagnosis without sucient
empirical support; the use of newly developed
dimensional and cross-cutting assessments in
the absence of evidence of reliability and valid-
ity; and limited attention to careful risk-benet
analyses regarding many of the changes. For
a more complete discussion of strengths and
criticisms of the DSM-5, interested readers
are referred to Frances and Widiger (2012),
Kamens (2012), and Widiger and Gore (2012).
SEE ALSO: Denition of Mental Disorder; DSM-I
and DSM-II;DSM-III and DSM-III-R;DSM-IV;
Medical Model of Mental Disorders; Reication
References
American Psychiatric Association. (2012).
Denition of a mental disorder. Retrieved from
http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/
proposedrevision.aspx?rid=465
Balsis, S., Segal, D. L., & Donahue, C. (2009).
Revising the personality disorder diagnostic
criteria for the Diagnostic and statistical manual
of mental disorders—h edition (DSM-5):
Consider the later life context. American Journal
of Orthopsychiatry, 79, 452 460.
Frances, A. J., & Widiger, T. (2012). Psychiatric
diagnosis: Lessons from the DSM past and
cautions for the DSM-5 future. Annual Review of
Clinical Psychology, 8, 109 130. doi:10.1146/
annurev-clinpsy-032511-143102
Kamens, S. (2012). Controversial issues for the
future DSM-5. Retrieved from http://www.
apadivisions.org/division-32/publications/
newsletters/humanistic/2010/01/dsm-v.aspx
Livesley, J. (2012). Tradition versus empiricism in
the current DSM-5 proposal for revising the
classication of personality disorders. Criminal
Behaviour and Mental Health, 22, 8190.
doi:10.1002/cbm.1826
Segal, D. L., & Coolidge, F. L. (2001). Diagnosis and
classication. In M. Hersen & V. B. Van Hasselt
(Eds.), Advanced abnormal psychology (2nd ed.,
pp.5–22).NewYork:KluwerAcademic/
Plenum.
Segal, D. L., Coolidge, F. L., & Rosowsky, E. (2006).
Personality disorders and older adults: Diagnosis,
assessment, and treatment.Hoboken,NJ:John
Wile y & Sons, Ltd.
6DSM-5
Widiger, T. A., & Gore, W. L. (2012). Mental
disorders as discrete clinical conditions:
Dimensional versus categorical classication. In
M.Hersen&D.C.Beidel(Eds.),Adult
psychopathology and diagnosis (6th ed., pp.
3– 32). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Zimmerman, M. (2011). A critique of the proposed
prototype rating system for personality disorders
in DSM-5.Journal of Personality Disorders, 25,
206–221. doi:10.1521/pedi.2011.25.2.206
Further Reading
Alarcón, R. D. (2009). Culture, cultural factors, and
psychiatric diagnosis: Review and projections.
Wor l d P sychi a try, 8, 131139.
Hersen, M., & Beidel, D. C. (Eds.). (2012). Adult
psychopathology and diagnosis (6th ed.).
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Jones, K. D. (2012). Dimensional and cross-cutting
assessment in the DSM-5.Journal of Counseling
and Development, 90, 481– 487.
doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2012.00059
Keeley,J.W.,Burgess,D.R.,&Blasheld,R.K.
(2008). Diagnostic and statistical manual of
mental disorders (DSM). In S. F. Davis & W.
Buskist (Eds.), 21st Century Psychology (pp.
253–261). ousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.
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