Intended for healthcare professionals


The first draft of DSM-V

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 02 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1168
  1. Allen Frances, chair, DSM-1V task force
  1. 11-1820 Avenida Del Mundo, Coronado, CA 92118, USA

    If accepted, will fan the flames of false positive diagnoses

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the official method for making psychiatric diagnoses in the United States. It is also widely used around the world, particularly for research purposes. The current edition, DSM-IV, was published in 1994. The first draft of the next revision, DSM-V, was recently posted on the internet ( and was accompanied by considerable press fanfare and professional controversy.1

    DSM-V has been in preparation for three years and is scheduled to appear in 2013. The work on DSM-V began with the unrealistic ambition of producing a paradigm shift in psychiatric diagnosis. The working groups preparing the various sections were encouraged to be innovative and to think “out of the box.”2 The criteria for making changes and the requirements were specified only recently and are fairly fluid.3 The whole process has also been criticised for being …

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