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DSM-5 Is Not Your Parents' DSM

Posted on August 12, 2011

David J. Kupfer (bio) discusses the differences between the DSM-5 and its previous editions.


As everyone knows who's working in psychiatry and psychology, there is an extensive effort currently going on to revise the current nosology, which is called DSM-IV for Psychiatric Disorders, and there will be a DSM-5 that will come out in 2013. And there's been a considerable amount of activity since really 2000 working on the next edition, which will hopefully incorporate much more research and clinical evidence than the previous editions.

One way of having everybody stay up to date is to take advantage of the fact that the level of transparency of all the information and all the draft criteria for new disorders, justifications, rationale can be found actually on the Web. And I would recommend that everybody take a look at www.DSM5.[org].

There have been about 200 articles that have been published about all the work that's going on with the DSM-5 process at this point. And there certainly will be a hard cover in 2013, but I would urge everybody to get ready for the electronic versions of the DSM.

DSM-5 is really DSM 5.0, and the reason that we're doing that is that it will be a living document. We will not have to wait 20 years to make any changes. Any unexpected changes that we make, which are not working out well, it isn't like we're stuck with them for 20 years. We will be able to make those changes whether we make changes in parts of the diagnostic criteria for specific disorders every three years.

The other thing that is exciting is that as the neuroscience, cognitive science, neuroimaging and other activities continue unabated, it's very likely that we will hit, if you will, a tipping point soon, where there will be enough replication for some of our disorders in terms of data that -- whether it's autism, whether it's schizophrenia, whether it's bipolar disorder -- it's very likely that we will begin to see more objective diagnostic criteria and biomarkers described not only in the text of DSM-5 but described as part of the overall picture in diagnosing important subgroups of these particular disorders. From a researcher point of view, I think this is quite exciting in the fact that many individuals can begin to impact on DSM-5 without having to wait to DSM-6.

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Excerpted from an interview conducted with researcher in June, 2011.


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