APA to release DSM-5 at Annual Meeting (May 18-22): What next?

Post #249 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-313

Media coverage following release of DSM-5 is compiled in Posts #251 and #252


Update: APA issued this press release today

Click link for PDF document   APA Press Release No. 13-31 May 17, 2013

American Psychiatric Association Releases DSM-5, Publication of diagnostic manual culminates 14-year development process


Purpleblue1DSM-5 is scheduled for release at the 2013 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting (May 18-22), in San Francisco. The official APA publication date is May 22.

Amazon US had been quoting a release and shipping date of May 22, but the site currently gives May 27 for both hardback and paperback editions. Amazon UK currently gives the release and shipping date for both hardback and paperback as May 31.

APA is anticipated to release DSM-5 on Saturday, May 18, with an early morning press briefing.

No heads-up yet from UK Science Media Centre, but SMC New Zealand has already put out press briefing materials here.

Australian SMC DSM-5 background briefing materials and presentation here:
BACKGROUND BRIEFING: DSM 5 – Psychiatric bible or fatally flawed?

DSM-5 will launch; a lot of stuff will be written about it.

What next?

On Monday, May 13, the Division of Clinical Psychology, a division of the British Psychological Society, published a “Position Statement on the Classification of Behaviour and Experience in Relation to Functional Psychiatric Diagnoses, Time for a Paradigm Shift.”

You can download a copy of this document here: Position Statement on Diagnosis.

Two new platforms for discussion launched this week:

The first, Dx Summit website. Article on Mad in America here DxSummit Officially Launches, by Jonathan Raskin, May 15.

http://dxsummit.org/

DxSummit Officially Launches

by Diagnostic Summit Committee

DSM-5 Is Widely Criticized, and Pursuit Of Alternatives in Mental Health Care Is Underway

For Immediate Release:

The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association is being released on May 22, 2013. It is the fifth revision of this widely influential manual for diagnosing mental distress and illness, and has been the subject of national and international criticism for the quality of its science, its criteria for defining disorders and categories, its rationale for inclusion or exclusion of particular symptoms or features, and the considerable inflation in its number of diagnosable disorders since the original DSM was published in the 1950s. Over the past several decades, there has been sharp criticism of the various DSM revisions, but in the case of DSM-5, a critical mass of scholarly opposition has reached a tipping point, including an unprecedented rebuke by the U.S. government’s National Institute of Mental Health, which has stated it will be reorienting away from research that involves the DSM-5. For many mental health professionals it seems clear that fresh thinking–about ways to possibly improve the DSM, prospects for developing possible alternatives to it, and what those prospects might look like–are called for. Regardless of where one stands on these issues, it is clear that new approaches to diagnosis are sorely needed, as both a national and global health concern.

To that end, a new website (dxsummit.org) has been launched to help create an on-line, on-going global forum for scholarly and professional dialogue of humane approaches to mental health diagnosis. Sponsored by the Diagnostic Summit Committee (DSC), a national committee of concerned psychologists, this collaborative effort provides an opportunity for the widest possible input and deliberation of mental health diagnosis from the ground-up. Offering blogs, discussion posts, and psychiatric and psychological articles by stakeholders and leaders in the field, dxsummit.org will open up the discussion of diagnosis to its full range of possibilities, from brain science to cultural variations to the examination of normal human responses to difficult life challenges. The website, underwritten by the efforts of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (SHP) will be a platform for international debate and consensus of comprehensive and valid approaches to mental health diagnosis.

Media inquiries should be directed to Dr. Frank Farley, co-chair of the DSC, and former President of the American Psychological Association and the SHP, at frank.farley@comcast.net or (215) 668-7581; or Dr. Donna Rockwell.

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The second new platform is Tom Nickel’s DSMOOC, introduced by Allen Frances, MD, in a May 16 blog at Huffington Post:

DSM-5: Where Do We Go From Here? 

Dr Frances writes:

“That’s why I am so pleased that Thomas Nickel Ph.D., Head of Continuing Education at Alliant International University, has set up a new interactive DSMOOC web site that will undoubtedly become the focal point for diagnostic discussion and remediation. Check it out.

Dr. Nickel writes:

“Now that DSM-5 is about to be released, it is time to determine how best to reduce, if not entirely eliminate, the risk that people will be misdiagnosed and improperly treated.”

“Solutions will not come from one group or one project. As one of what will hopefully be many initiatives, we have developed a MOOC (Massive Open Online Conversation) to bring together concerned clinicians and the public in order to give voice to the many different perspectives about psychiatric diagnosis.”

“Our intention is to stimulate conversations that will lead to useful products. People will find each other and work together to produce materials that can empower patients and influence practitioners. Suggestions for guidelines, practice standards, public policy, and research will hopefully emerge. Certainly, we will make every effort to facilitate this.”

“Previous MOOCs have resembled traditional university courses with lectures and quizzes on technical topics like artificial intelligence or mechanical engineering. Until now, MOOCs have not been closely linked to events happening in the world, nor have they been a channel for real world action. In this regard, a MOOC focused on DSM-5 may be pioneering.”

“Our MOOC will consist of about 15 channels, each one dedicated to one area of significant change or controversy in DSM-5. Each will provide background information; videotaped discussions by leading experts and consumer advocates; references; links; vivid portrayals of psychiatric diagnosis in films and fiction; and an opportunity for discussion. There are even Google Hangouts all set up for study groups to use.”

“Our DSMOOC should be equally interesting for professionals and consumers- and will provide a uniquely open forum for interaction between them.”

“We hope that you will roll up your virtual sleeves, join us at: http://discuss.thementalhealthmanual.com

Follow DSMOOC on Twitter @RethinkingDSM

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DSM-5 Development site

The APA’s DSM-5 Development site will remain online.

On May 15, the Home Page text was revised and the site’s content is being reorganized. As everything on the site is nailed down with Licensing and Permissions clauses, you will need to visit the site to read what new text has gone up so far. No doubt APA would like to register the trademark rights to hex #260859, too.

See: UNDER CONSTRUCTION: DSM-5 Implementation and Support

According to what little text is currently displaying, the site will be reorganized to serve as a resource for stakeholders: providers, payers, researchers and patients.

New content is planned to include FAQs, information on implementation of the manual and a mechanism for submitting questions and feedback. Professional users will be able to provide feedback on online assessment measures; there will be links to educational webinars and training courses for US and other countries. The site will list DSM-5 corrections.

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Additional media coverage from this week

Too much to include this week, so just a few links:

Concern for the implications of DSM-5‘s new Somatic Symptom Disorder was highlighted by Allen Frances in a Diane Rehm radio broadcast, on May 14. The programme also included an interview with DSM-5 Task Force Chair, David J Kupfer, MD, on the understanding that he would not be engaging with Dr Frances.

The Diane Rehm Show May 14, 2013: http://tinyurl.com/byxupm6

Transcript

Listen again: http://thedianerehmshow.org/audio-player?nid=17729  [51.40 mins including listener phone in]

The site page includes an excerpt from the book “Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life” by Allen Frances. Published by William Morrow. Copyright © 2013 by Allen Frances. Reprinted with permission.


Somatic Symptom Disorder also featured in a Susan Donaldson James’ article, for ABC News Health, on May 14:

Brain Science Upstages DSM-V, So-Called Mental Health ‘Bible’


Christopher Lane, Ph.D., published The Distortion of Grief on May 14, which has been widely syndicated.


DSM-5: Mental Health Professionals, Critics Face Off Over Upcoming Psychiatric Manual by Lindsey Tanner at Huffington Post, May 15:

“The psychiatric industry, allied with Big Pharma, have massively misled the public,” the Occupy Psychiatry group contends. Organizers include Alaska lawyer Jim Gottstein, who has long fought against overuse of psychiatric drugs.

“The new manual “will drastically expand psychiatric diagnosis, mislabel millions of people as mentally ill, and cause unnecessary treatment with medication,” says the website for the Committee to Boycott the DSM-5, organized by New York social worker Jack Carney.”


More on Occupy APA from Jack Carney, DSW, for Mad in America, May 17:
Occupy APA in San Francisco: Joined in Spirit

Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) calls for paradigm shift away from ‘disease model’

British Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) calls for paradigm shift away from ‘disease model’

Post #247 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2Zj

Update: Prof Richard Bentall on BBC Radio 4 Start the Week, Monday, May 13, 2013

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sd3jq

Lucy Johnstone on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Monday, May 13, 2013 | 2 hours 50 mins in from start

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sd3jn

Lucy Johnstone article at Mad in America, May 13, 2013:

UK Clinical Psychologists Call for the Abandonment of Psychiatric Diagnosis and the ‘Disease’ Model

Lucy Johnstone World Service interview  | MP3 file | 8.2 MB at Dropbox (no Dropbox account required)

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Update: Statement released: May 13, 2013

Division of Clinical Psychology

Position Statement on the Classification of Behaviour and Experience in Relation to Functional Psychiatric Diagnoses

Time for a Paradigm Shift

Click link for PDF document   Position Statement on Diagnosis

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Today’s Observer reports on the release, tomorrow, of a Position Statement by the British Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP), a sub-division of the British Psychological Society, calling for the abandonment of diagnosis and the ‘illness/disease’ model.

Observer

Psychiatrists under fire in mental health battle
(British) Psychological Society to launch attack on rival profession, casting doubt on biomedical model of mental illness

Jamie Doward | May 12, 2013

“…In a groundbreaking move that has already prompted a fierce backlash from psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a “paradigm shift” in how the issues of mental health are understood. The statement effectively casts doubt on psychiatry’s predominantly biomedical model of mental distress – the idea that people are suffering from illnesses that are treatable by doctors using drugs. The DCP said its decision to speak out “reflects fundamental concerns about the development, personal impact and core assumptions of the (diagnosis) systems”, used by psychiatry…”

Also in today’s Observer, opposing positions from Oliver James and Professor Sir Simon Wessely, a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and chair of psychological medicine at King’s College London, in which he defends the need to create classification systems for mental disorder and downplays the influence of the DSM:

Do we need to change the way we are thinking about mental illness?
Experts on both sides of the debate over the classification of mental disorders make their case

The Observer | Oliver James | Prof Sir Simon Wessely | Sunday 12 May 2013

Comment from Allen Frances, MD, on Huffington Post, on today’s Observer report:

[Note the position statement is issued by the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP), a sub-division of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is not the official position of the BPS.]

 The Inmates Seem to Have Taken Over the Asylum

“…Then the NIMH recklessly renounced all syndromal DSM diagnosis as invalid. But NIMH has nothing to offer now in its place except an oversold and undeliverable promise of some future strictly biological model of mental illness that will take decades to deliver — assuming it can ever be delivered at all…

“…Now the British Psychological Society has produced its own brand of extremist posturing, offering its own quixotic paradigm shift..”


Further mainstream media coverage of the DSM debate

An Editorial and an Opinion piece in the New York Times:

Editorial

Shortcomings of a Psychiatric Bible

The Editorial Board | May 11, 2013

Opinion

Why the Fuss Over the D.S.M.-5?

Sally Satel | May 11, 2013


Nature | News

Psychiatry framework seeks to reform diagnostic doctrine

Critics say clinical manual unfit for mental-health research.

Heidi Ledford | May 10, 2013

Quotes from NIMH’s director, Thomas Insel; epidemiologist, Jane Costello, who resigned from the DSM-5 Work Group for Child and Adolescent Disorders in 2009, and Steven Hyman, a former NIMH director and a former DSM-5 Task Force member, who has chaired the APA-WHO International Advisory Group for the Revision of ICD-10 Mental and Behavioural Disorders [Members].


New Scientist Print edition

Feature article This Week

How a scientific DSM will transform psychiatry

Peter Aldhous, Andy Coghlan and Sara Reardon | May 8, 2013

This article appears in the print edition under the headline “A revolution in mental health, Patients deserve better than an unscientific manual, says leading health institute.”

Also in this week’s New Scientist print edition:

Editorial Opinion

Don’t count on this manual, The future of psychiatric research lies in simpler questions

Allen Frances, MD | May 8, 2013

A longer version of this Allen Frances opinion piece appeared online, earlier in the week, here

Three professional organization responses to third and final DSM-5 stakeholder review

Three professional organization responses to the third and final DSM-5 stakeholder review

Post #185 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2hS

According to DSM-5 Task Force Vice-chair, Darrel Regier M.D., the specific diagnostic categories that received most comments during the second public review of draft proposals (May-June 2011) were the sexual and gender identity disorders, followed closely by somatic symptom disorders and anxiety disorders.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has yet to report how many comments the DSM-5 Task Force and its 13 Work Groups received during this third and final review period (which closed last Friday), or which categories garnered the most responses, this year.

 

No publication of field trial data

Following posting of the third draft on May 2, it was anticipated APA would publish full results from the DSM-5 field trials “within a month”. [Source: Deborah Brauser for Medscape Medical News: interview with Darrel Regier, May 8, 2012.]

No report emerged and stakeholders had little choice but submit feedback on this latest iteration without the benefit of scrutiny of reliability data to inform their submissions.

APA has yet to account for its failure to place its field trial results in the public domain while the feedback exercise was in progress, other than releasing some Kappa data at its May 5-9 Annual Conference.

American Psychiatric Association CEO and Medical Director, James H. Scully, Jr., M.D., blogs at Huffington Post. Last week, I asked Dr Scully why the field trial report has been withheld; whether Task Force still intends publishing field trial data and when that report might now be anticipated. 

I’ve received no response from Dr Scully and APA has put out no clarification.

 

No publication of list of Written Submissions

These three DSM-5 public reviews of draft proposals for changes to DSM-IV categories and criteria have not been managed as formal stakeholder consultation exercises.

APA publishes no aggregations of key areas of concern identified during public comment periods nor publishes Work Group or Task Force responses to key areas of professional or lay public concern on the DSM-5 Development website  – an issue I raised with the Task Force during both the first and second reviews.

Although some published submissions (ACA, British Psychological Society and the DSM-5 Reform Open Letter and Petition Committee) have received responses from the Task Force and which APA has elected to place in the public domain, submissions from the majority of professional bodies and organizations disappear into a black hole.

In the interests of transparency, APA could usefully publish lists of the names of US and international professional bodies, academic institutions, patient advocacy organizations etc. that have submitted comments, in the way that Written Submissions are listed in the annexes to reports and public inquiries.

That way, interested parties might at least approach organizations to request copies of submissions or suggest that these are placed in the public domain.

APA could not legitimately claim it would require permissions before publishing full lists of the names of professional body, academic institution and organization respondents that tendered formal responses – its legal department’s boilerplate Terms and Conditions of Use gives APA carte blanche to make use of and publish uploaded submissions in any way it sees fit.*

*See Terms and Conditions of Use, under “User Submissions” 

 

The following have released their submissions in response to the third draft:

Submission from The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)

The American Mental Health Counselors Association is a nationwide organization representing 6,000 clinical mental health counselors. Their submission includes concerns for the lowering of the “B type” threshold requirement for “Somatic Symptom Disorder” criteria between the second and third drafts.

[In the CSSD field trials, about 15% of the “diagnosed illness” study group (patients with cancer and coronary disease) met the criteria for coding with an additional mental health diagnosis of “SSD” when “one B type” cognition was required; about 10% met the criteria when “two B type” were required. About 26% of the “functional somatic” arm of the study group (patients with irritable bowel and “chronic widespread pain” – a term used synonymously with fibromyalgia) met the criteria for coding with an additional mental health diagnosis of “SSD” when “one B type” cognition was required; about 13% met the criteria when “two B type” were required. AMHCA recommends raising the threshold back to at least two from the three B type criteria, as the criteria for CSSD had stood for the second draft. I consider the category of “SSD” should be rejected in the absence of a substantial body of independent evidence for the reliability, validity and safety of “SSD” as a construct.]

AMHCA Submits Comments on DSM-5 06/19/12

June 18, 2012 – Alexandria, VA – The DSM-5 Task Force of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) has submitted comments for the third period of public comment on the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

AMHCA’s comments addressed 12 disorder categories and the Cultural Formulation Interview Guide. Per the site requirements, each was sent separately to the particular disorder site.

    Download compilation of comments submitted by AMHCA DSM-5 Task Force

Somatic Symptom Disorders

“Somatic Symptom Disorder

“A major change in this revision is the merger of Complex Somatic Symptom Disorder and Simple Somatic Symptom Disorder into one disorder, Somatic Symptom Disorder. The increased emphasis placed on cognitive distortions (along with the presence of somatic symptoms ) provides greater clarity about the nature of the disorder. However, the notion that a single B.2 criteria could be used as the sole basis for identifying these cognitive aspects seems to open the door to diagnosing individuals who have legitimate “high anxiety” about their symptoms. We recommend considering “two of three” criteria under B be required.”

 

The British Psychological Society writes:

The British Psychological Society still has concerns over DSM-V

…For all the reasons stated above, the BPS, having reviewed the currently proposed revisions of the new diagnostic criteria in DSM 5, continues to have major concerns. These have, if anything, been increased by the very poor reliabilities achieved in many of the recent field trials (Huffington Post, 2012), especially given the limited time available to attempt to achieve more satisfactory outcomes. Since validity depends, at the very least, on acceptable levels of reliability, the unavoidable conclusion is that many of the most frequently-used categories will be unable to fulfil their purported purposes, i.e. identification of appropriate treatments, signposting to support, providing a basis for research…

Read full submission to third draft here in PDF format.

Response to second draft here.

Christopher Lane comments:

Psychology Today | Side Effects

Arguing Over DSM-5: The British Psychological Society Has Serious Concerns About the Manual

The BPS expresses “serious reservations” about the next DSM.

Christopher Lane, Ph.D. in Side Effects | June 20, 2012

Although the American Psychiatric Association recently closed its window allowing comments on proposed changes to the DSM, the organization has yet to report on the field trials it devised for the next edition of the psychiatric manual, themselves meant to support—indeed, serve as a rationale for—the changes it is proposing in the first place.

While this unhappy outcome points to some of the organization’s chicken-and-egg problems with the manual and the disorders it is seeking to adjust or make official, those wanting to respond to the draft proposals have had to do so in the dark, unaware of the results of the field trials and thus whether the proposals draw from them any actual empirical support…

Read on

 

Submission from American Counseling Association (ACA)

The American Counseling Association (ACA), represents more than 50,000 counselors – one of the largest groups of DSM-5 users in the US.

ACA provides final comments on the DSM-5

ACA President Don W. Locke has sent the American Psychiatric Association a letter providing final comments for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Based on comments from ACA members and the ACA DSM Task Force, the letter acknowledges useful changes that had been made to previous drafts of the DSM-5: the development of the Cultural Formulation Outline, reversing the pathologizing of normal bereavement, and limiting the expansion of personality disorder types. ACA also calls for addressing the one-dimensional nature of the new Substance Use Disorder category and rejects the proposed dimensional assessments. Click here to view letter.

This is the third letter ACA has sent to the American Psychiatric Association providing feedback for the DSM-5. Click the links below to read the previous letters and a response from APA:

Letter from President Lynn Linde, April 16, 2010

Letter from President Don Locke, November 8, 2011

Response from APA President John Oldham, November 21, 2011

 

Submission by Coalition for DSM-5 Reform Committee

The Coalition for DSM-5 Reform Open Letter and Petition has garnered support from over 13,700 professionals and concerned stakeholders and the endorsement of nearly 50 organizations, since launching last October.

The DSM-5 Reform Committee continues to call for independent scientific review of draft proposals and submitted the following response during this third and final comment period:

Submission from Coalition for DSM-5 Reform (Society for Humanistic Psychology)Division 32 of the American Psychological Association)

To the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association

As you know, the Open Letter Committee of the Society for Humanistic Psychology and the Coalition for DSM-5 Reform have been following the development of DSM-5 closely.

We appreciate the opportunity for public commentary on the most recent version of the DSM-5 draft proposals. We intend to submit this brief letter via the dsm5.org feedback portal and to post it for public viewing on our website at http://dsm5-reform.com/

Since its posting in October 2011, the Open Letter to the DSM-5, which was written in response to the second version of the draft proposals, has garnered support from almost 50 mental health organizations and over 13,500 individual mental health professionals and others.

Our three primary concerns in the letter were as follows: the DSM-5 proposals appear to lower diagnostic thresholds, expanding the purview of mental disorder to include normative reactions to life events; some new proposals (e.g., “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder” and “Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome”) seem to lack the empirical grounding necessary for inclusion in a scientific taxonomy; newly proposed disorders are particularly likely to be diagnosed in vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly, for whom the over-prescription of powerful psychiatric drugs is already a growing nationwide problem; and the increased emphasis on medico-biological theories for mental disorder despite the fact that recent research strongly points to multifactorial etiologies.

We appreciate some of the changes made in this third version of the draft proposals, in particular the relegation of Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome and Mixed Anxiety-Depression to the Appendix for further research. We believe these disorders had insufficient empirical backing for inclusion in the manual itself. In addition, given the continuing elusiveness of biomarkers, we are relieved to find that you have proposed a modified definition of mental disorder that does not include the phrase “underlying psychobiological dysfunction.”

Despite these positive changes, we remain concerned about a number of the DSM-5 proposals, as well as the apparent setbacks in the development process.

Our continuing concerns are:

 The proposal to include new disorders with relatively little empirical support and/or research literature that is relatively recent (e.g., Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder)

 The lowering of diagnostic thresholds, which may result in diagnostic expansion and various iatrogenic hazards, such as inappropriate treatment and stigmatization of normative life processes. Examples include the newly proposed Minor Neurocognitive Disorder, as well as proposed changes to Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pedophilia, and the new behavioral addictions.

The perplexing Personality Disorders overhaul, which is an unnecessarily complex and idiosyncratic system that is likely to have little clinical utility in everyday practice.

 The development of novel scales (e.g., severity scales) with little psychometric testing rather than utilizing established standards.

In addition, we are increasingly concerned about several aspects of the development process. These are:

Continuing delays, particularly in the drafting and field testing of the proposals.

 The substandard results of the first set of field trials, which revealed kappas below accepted reliability standards.

 The cancelation of the second set of field trials.

The lack of formal forensic review.

Ad hominem responses to critics.

The hiring of a PR firm to influence the interpretation and dissemination of information about DSM-5, which is not standard scientific practice.

We understand that there have been recent attempts to locate a “middle ground” between the DSM-5 proposals and DSM-5 criticism. We believe that, given the extremity and idiosyncrasy of some of the proposed changes to the manual, this claim of a “middle ground” is more rhetorical and polemic than empirical or measured. A true middle ground, we believe, would draw on medical ethics and scientific standards to revise the proposals in a careful way that prioritizes patient safety, especially protection against unnecessary treatment, above institutional needs.

Therefore, we would like to reiterate our call for an independent scientific review of the manual by professionals whose relationship to the DSM-5 Task Force and/or American Psychiatric Association does not constitute a conflict of interest.

As the deadline for the future manual approaches, we urge the DSM-5 Task Force and all concerned mental health professionals to examine the proposed manual with scientific and expert scrutiny.

It is not only our professional standards, but also – and most importantly – patient care that is at stake. We thank you for your time and serious consideration of our concerns, and we hope that you will continue to engage in dialogue with those calling for reform of DSM-5.

Sincerely,

The DSM-5 Open Letter Committee of the Society for Humanistic Society, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association

Science Media Centre DSM-5 press briefing: Comments from research and clinical professionals

Science Media Centre DSM-5 press briefing: Comments from research and clinical professionals

Post #141 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1TL

On February 9, psychiatrist, Prof Nick Craddock, and psychologist, Prof Peter Kinderman, discussed the implications of proposals for the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) at a Science Media Centre press briefing for invited journalists.

There has been significant UK and international media interest in mental health professionals’ concerns for a range of controversial proposals for DSM-5. Press coverage is being collated in this Dx Revision Watch post:

Media coverage of UK concerns over DSM-5 (Science Media Centre press briefing)

Commentaries from Allen Frances, MD, today, on Huffington Post:

Can the Press Save DSM 5 from Itself? 

“…The intense press scrutiny of DSM 5 is really just beginning. I know of at least 10 additional reporters who are preparing their work now for publication in the near future. And many of the journalists whose articles appeared during these last few weeks intend to stay on this story for the duration — at least until DSM 5 is published, and probably beyond. They understand that DSM 5 is a document of great individual and societal consequence — and that its impact and risks need a thorough public airing…”

and Christopher Lane, Ph.D. on Side Effects at Psychology Today

DSM-5 Controversy Is Now Firmly Transatlantic

Why the APA’s lower diagnostic thresholds are causing widespread concern.

“Proposed draft revisions to the DSM, which the American Psychiatric Association recently made available on its website, are stirring major controversy on both sides of the Atlantic…”  Read on

 

Science Media Centre has very kindly given permission to publish, in full, the comments provided by research and clinical professionals for use by the press:

DSM5: New psychiatry bible broadens definitions of mental illness to include normal quirks of personality

10.02.2012

Round-up comments

Tim Carey, Associate Professor at the Centre for Remote Health and Central Australian Mental Health Service, said:

“The DSM does not assist in understanding psychological distress nor in treating it effectively. It does not “carve nature at its joints” as it were. It is a collection of symptom patterns that have no underlying form or structure. It is akin to an anthology of the constellations in the night sky. While it does not assist in understanding or treating psychological distress, it has generated phenomenal revenues for the APA, expanded the market for pharmaceutical companies, assisted in promulgating and maintaining a disease and illness model of psychological suffering, and constrained the focus of research activity. Are these the activities a humane and scientific society should seek to promote?

“The authors of the DSM themselves acknowledge the inadequacy of the DSM diagnostic system.

“On page xxxi of the latest edition of the DSM it states: ‘there is no assumption that each category of mental disorder is a completely discrete entity with absolute boundaries dividing it from other mental disorders or from no mental disorder. There is also no assumption that all individuals described as having the same mental disorder are alike in all important ways’.

“So, according to the DSM authors, the boundaries demarcating ‘schizophrenia’ (for example) don’t separate ‘schizophrenia’ from ‘depression’ (or social phobia or intermittent explosive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder or …) or (perhaps most importantly) the boundaries don’t separate ‘schizophrenia’ from ‘no schizophrenia’.

“One would have to ask: if the function of creating particular categories is not to separate these categories from each other or from their absence, what exactly are they for?”

David Pilgrim, Professor of Mental Health Policy, University of Central Lancashire, said:

“It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that DSM-5 will help the interests of the drug companies and the wrong-headed belief of some mental health professionals (mainly most psychiatrists, but sadly all too often others as well). Some patients and many relatives also gain some advantages from diagnosis some of the time because it reduces the reality of the complexity of their experiences and their responsibilities within those existential struggles.

“Madness and misery exist but they come in many shapes and sizes and so they need to be appreciated in their very particular biographical and social contexts. At the individual level this should mean replacing diagnoses with tailored formulations, and for research purposes we should be either looking at single symptoms or shared predicaments of those with mental health problems and their significant others. I worry that we risk treating the experience and conduct of people as if they are botanical specimens waiting to be identified and categorised in rigid boxes – in my opinion that would itself be a form of collective madness for all those complicit in the continuing pseudo-scientific exercise.”

Dr Felicity Callard, Senior Research Fellow, Service User Research Enterprise, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, said:

“The ongoing chaos surrounding the development of DSM-5 has intensified rather than lessened fears that this project is ill-conceived and founded on a weak evidence base. People’s lives can be altered profoundly – and, we should bear in mind, sometimes ruinously – by being given a psychiatric diagnosis. In my opinion, that the architects of DSM-5 are pressing on with such a flawed framework undermines their claim that they wish to produce a DSM that is ‘useful to all health professionals, researchers and patients’.”

Dr Paul Keedwell, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lecturer in the Neurobiology of Mood Disorders, Cardiff University, said:

“New findings arising from genetics and brain imaging studies hint at biological mechanisms, and challenge the way we classify disorders: syndromes (like bipolar and unipolar depression) might merge, while others (like “the schizophrenias”) might diverge. However a few more decades will pass before we radically change our existing classifications.

“Where the proposed DSMV is particularly controversial is in its addition of more disorders, like “Apathy Syndrome” and “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder”, which suggest a worrying trend toward medicalising normal variation in behaviour.

“Every new diagnosis implies a new treatment, suiting vested interests in the health industry. Nothing should enter the final version of DSMV without sound research evidence of the need for professionals to intervene.

“Also, every mental health professional should remember that classification systems are a guide to diagnosis only: they do not necessarily map on to the complex needs of an individual in real practice, and they are definitely not a guide to treatment.”

Allen Frances, Emeritus Professor at Duke University and Chair of the DSM-4 Steering Committee, said:

“DSM 5 will radically and recklessly expand the boundaries of psychiatry by introducing many new diagnoses and lowering the thresholds for existing ones. As an unintended consequence, many millions of people will receive inaccurate diagnosis and inappropriate treatment. Costs include: the side effects and complications of unnecessary medication; the perverse misallocation of scarce mental health resources toward those who don’t really need them (and may actually be harmed) and away from those who do most desperately require help; stigma; a medicalization of normality, individual difference, and criminality; and a reduced sense of personal responsibility. The publication of DSM 5 should be delayed until it can be subjected to a rigorous and independent review, using the methods of evidence based medicine, and meant to ensure that it is both safe and scientifically sound. New diagnoses can be as dangerous as new drugs and require a much more careful and inclusive vetting than has been provided by the American Psychiatric Association. Future revisions of psychiatric diagnosis can no longer be left to the sole responsibility of just one professional organization.”

David Elkins, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, and Chair of the Division 32 Task Force for DSM-5 Reform, said:

“My committee and I remain very concerned the DSM-5, as currently proposed, could result in the widespread misdiagnosis of hundreds of thousands of individuals whose behaviour is within the continuum of normal variation. If this occurs, it means these individuals will be labelled with a mental disorder for life and many will be treated with powerful psychiatric drugs that can have dangerous side effects.

“We are also alarmed that the DSM-5 Task Force seems unresponsive to the concerns of thousands of mental health professionals and dozens of mental health associations from around the world.

“My committee recently asked the DSM-5 Task Force to submit the controversial proposals for review by an outside, independent group of scientists and scholars. Our request was denied.

“My committee launched the Open Letter/Petition Website which has now gathered more than 11, 000 individual signatures and endorsements from more than 40 from mental health associations including 13 other Divisions of the American Psychological Association.”

Dr Kevin Morgan, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Westminster, said:

“The proposed revisions to the diagnosis of schizophrenia i.e. the elimination of subtypes and the use instead of symptom dimensions, is an example of how DSM5 may prove to be more clinically beneficial than the current version of the manual. I wait with great interest to see the final agreed set of changes.”

Til Wykes, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, said:

“The proposals in DSM 5 are likely to shrink the pool of normality to a puddle with more and more people being given a diagnosis of mental illness. This may be driven by a health care system that reimburses only if the individual being treated has a recognised diagnosis – one in the DS manual. Luckily in the UK we have the NHS which treats people on the basis of need, not if they fit a diagnostic system.

“It isn’t just a health care system that is subverted by the spreading of diagnostic labels into normality, research will also be changed. Most research studies that reach the widest readership get published in US journals which will expect these diagnostic labels to have been used.

“We shouldn’t use labels unless we are clear they have some benefit. Saying someone is at risk of a mental illness (in some categories of DSM5) puts a lot of pressure on the individual and their family. When we do not have a good enough prediction mechanism, this is too high a burden.”

Dr David Harper, Reader in Clinical Psychology, University of East London, said:

“The American Psychiatric Association’s revisions of the DSM have become as regular as updates for Microsoft Windows and about as much use. It has facilitated an increasing medicalisation of life (the number of disorders the DSM covers has increased exponentially from its first edition in 1952 to 357 in 2000) and is hugely costly (the text revision of DSM IV made $44m in revenue between 2000 and 2006). The problem is not simply the revisions proposed in DSM 5 but the idea that psychological distress matches its diagnostic categories – people’s experiences of distress cluster in an entirely different manner. This is why most people end up with more than one diagnosis, why the ‘not otherwise specified’ category is massively over-used and why ratings of agreement between psychiatrists continue to be poor. The DSM represents a massive failure of imagination: most clinicians and researchers know the system is flawed but try to convince themselves, despite the evidence, that it aids communication, research and treatment. It does not. The frustrating thing is that there are other viable alternatives – for example, a focus on homogenous experiences of distress would aid research, the use of case formulation would aid treatment. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry can see little profit in either alternative and, instead, continue to swing their considerable weight behind the DSM.”

Richard Bentall, Chair of Clinical Psychology at the University of Bangor, said:

“I share the widespread concerns about the proposed revisions to the DSM diagnostic system. Like earlier editions, this version of the manual is not based on coherent research into the causes or nature of mental illness. For example, it treats ‘schizophrenia’ and ‘bipolar disorder’ as separate conditions despite evidence that this is, at best, an over-simplification. It also looks set to widen some of the diagnostic criteria, for example by removing the grief exclusion from major depression, and by expanding the range of psychotic disorders to include an ‘attenuated psychosis syndrome’ (my own research on this, in press, shows that only about 10% of people meeting the attenuated or prodromal psychosis criteria are likely to go on to develop a full-blown psychotic illness). As there is no obvious scientific added value compared to DSM-IV, and as there are some obvious risks associated with this expansion of diagnostic boundaries, one is bound to ask why there is a need for this revision, or who will benefit from it. It seems likely that the main beneficiaries will be mental health practitioners seeking to justify expanding practices, and pharmaceutical companies looking for new markets for their products.”

Dr Lucy Johnstone, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Cwm Taf Health Board, Mid Glamorgan, South Wales, said:

“The DSM debate is all about how we understand mental distress. DSM and the proposed revisions are based on the assumption that mental distress is best understood as an illness, mainly caused by genetic or biochemical factors. It is important to realise that, with the exception of a few conditions such as dementia, there is no firm evidence to support this. On the contrary, the strongest evidence is about psychological and social factors such as trauma, loss, poverty and discrimination. In other words, even the more extreme forms of distress are ultimately a response to life problems. We need a paradigm shift in the way we understand mental health problems. DSM cannot be reformed – it is based on fundamentally wrong principles and should be abandoned.”

Dr Warren Mansell, Reader in Psychology & Clinical Psychologist, University of Manchester, said:

“Contemporary research across genetics, neuroscience, psychology and culture all point to the fact that the majority of psychiatric disorders share the same underlying processes and are treated by very similar interventions. Therefore in further emphasising different categories of mental health problems, DSM5 is heading in completely the opposite direction from the most pioneering research across the field of mental health.”

Simon Wessely, Professor of Epidemiological and Liaison Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London:

“We need to be very careful before further broadening the boundaries of illness and disorder. Back in 1840 the Census of the United States included just one category for mental disorder. By 1917 the American Psychiatric Association recognised 59, rising to 128 in 1959, 227 in 1980, and 347 in the last revision. Do we really need all these labels? Probably not. And there is a real danger that shyness will become social phobia, bookish kids labelled as Asperger’s and so on.”

Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

“We recognise the importance of accurate and prompt diagnosis in psychiatry. The classification system used in NHS hospitals and referred to by UK psychiatrists is the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Disease (ICD). Therefore, the publication of DSM-V will not directly affect diagnosis of mental illness in our health service.”

The British Psychological Society has released a statement on the DSM-5 which can be found here: BPS Statement on DSM-5

* The fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will be published in May 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association.

Psychologists call for independent review of DSM-5

Psychologists call for independent review of DSM-5

Post #126 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1DC

The Coalition for DSM-5 Reform is calling on the American Psychiatric Association to submit its draft proposals for new categories and criteria for DSM-5 to independent scientific review.

An Open Letter and Petition sponsored by the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association), in alliance with several other American Psychological Association Divisions, attracted nearly 7000 signatures in its first three weeks. Since launching the petition, on October 22, over 10,300 mental health and allied professionals have signed up with over 40 organizations publicly endorsing the Open Letter.

You can view the Open Letter and iPetition here

Yesterday, January 09, Division 32 Open Letter Committee sent another call to the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees and DSM-5 Task Force to submit controversial proposals for DSM-5 to independent scrutiny.

PSYCHOLOGISTS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF DSM-5

January 9, 2012

ATTENTION:                                                                                                                                                                                    David J. Kupfer, M.D., Chair of DSM-5 Task Force
Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H., Vice Chair of DSM-5 Task Force
John M. Oldham, M.D., President of the American Psychiatric Association
Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., President-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association
Roger Peele, M.D., Secretary of the American Psychiatric Association

To the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association:

We appreciate your opening a dialogue regarding the concerns that the Division 32 Open Letter Committee and others have raised about the proposed DSM-5.  Your willingness to do this suggests that both the Task Force and our committee are in basic agreement that we both want the DSM-5 to be empirically grounded, credible to mental health professionals and the public, and safe to use.  In keeping with this spirit of open dialogue, we are writing in regard to what we view as a critically important issue.

You will recall that the Division 32 Open Letter Committee, along with the American Counseling Association, recently asked the DSM-5 Task Force and the American Psychiatric Association to submit the controversial portions of the proposed DSM-5 for external review by an independent group of scholars and scientists who have no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association.

As you know, it is common practice for scientists and scholars to submit their work to others for independent review.  We believe it is time for an independent group of scientists and scholars, who have no vested interest in the outcome, to do an external, independent review of the controversial portions of the DSM-5.  We consider this especially important in light of the unprecedented criticism of the proposed  DSM-5 by thousands of mental health professionals, as well as mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe.

Will you submit the controversial proposals in DSM-5 to an independent group of scientists and scholars with no ties to the DSM-5 Task Force or the American Psychiatric Association for an independent, external  review?  

We respectfully ask that you not respond again with assurances about internal reviews and field trials because such assurances, at this point, are not sufficient.  We believe an external, independent review is critical in terms of ensuring the proposed DSM-5 is safe and credible.  If you are unwilling to submit the controversial proposals for external, independent review, we respectfully ask that you provide a detailed rationale for your refusal.  Because the DSM is used by hundreds of thousands of mental health professionals, we are publicly posting this letter and will also post your response.   We believe mental health professionals, along with concerned mental health organizations, in the United States and Europe will be very interested in this important exchange.

Sincerely,

David N. Elkins, PhD,  Chair of the Division 32 Open Letter Committee   Email:  David Elkins

Frank Farley, PhD, Member of Committee
Jonathan D.  Raskin, PhD, Member of Committee
Brent Dean Robbins, PhD,  Member of Committee
Donna Rockwell, PsyD, Member of Committee

Resources
 
 

Open Letter and iPetition

Coalition for DSM-5 Reform on Twitter    @dsm5reform

Coalition for DSM-5 Reform on Facebook

Coalition for DSM-5 Reform website

This initiative is also being covered on

The Society for Humanistic Psychology Blog

The Society for Humanistic Psychology on Twitter    @HumanisticPsych

The Society for Humanistic Psychology on Facebook

British Psychological Society issues statement in response to DSM-5 encouraging members to sign Coalition for DSM-5 Reform petition

British Psychological Society issues statement in response to DSM-5 encouraging members to sign Coalition for DSM-5 Reform petition for mental health professionals

Post #116 Shortlinkhttp://wp.me/pKrrB-1sa

Society issues statement in response to DSM-5

The Society has today (13 December 2011) released a statement expressing concerns regarding the proposed revisions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, which is one the main internationally-used classification systems for diagnosis of people with mental health problems in clinical settings and for research trials.

The Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the American Psychological Association (APA) has recently published an open letter to the DSM-5 taskforce raising a number of concerns about the draft revisions proposed for DSM-5 and citing a number of issues raised previously by the BPS.

In its statement today, the Society shares the concerns expressed in the open letter from the Society of Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the APA and encourages members of the Society to read the letter themselves and consider signing the petition.

David Murphy, Chair of the Society’s Professional Practice Board said:

“The Society recognises that a range of views exist amongst psychologists, and other mental health professionals, regarding the validity and usefulness of diagnostic frameworks in general and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, in particular.

“However, there is a widespread consensus amongst our members that some of the changes proposed for the new framework could lead to potentially stigmatizing medical labels being inappropriately applied to normal experiences and also to the unnecessary use of potentially harmful interventions.

“We therefore urge the DSM 5 taskforce to consider seriously all the issues that have been raised and we would echo the American Psychological Association’s call for the taskforce to adhere to an open transparent process based on the best available science and in the best interest of the public”.

You can read the Society statement in full online.

Open PDF on the BPS site here: BPS Statement on DSM-5 12.12.11

Or open PDF here, on Dx Revision Watch: BPS statement on DSM-5 12-12-2011

Text version

British Psychological Society statement on the open letter to the DSM-5 Taskforce

The British Psychological Society recognizes that a range of views exist amongst psychologists, and other mental health professionals, regarding the validity and usefulness of diagnostic frameworks in mental health in general, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association in particular.

The Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the American Psychological Association (APA) has recently published an open letter to the DSM-5 taskforce raising a number of concerns about the draft revisions proposed for DSM-5 which has, to date, been endorsed by 12 other APA Divisions.

A major concern raised in the letter is that the proposed revisions include lowering diagnostic thresholds across a range of disorders. It is feared that this could lead to medical explanations being applied to normal experiences, and also to the unnecessary use of potentially harmful interventions.

Particular concern is expressed about the inclusion of a new diagnostic category “Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome”. This proposes to include individuals who are experiencing hallucinations, delusions or disorganized speech “in an attenuated form with intact reality testing” but who do not meet current criteria for a psychotic disorder. The Society shares the concerns expressed in the open letter about the potentially harmful consequences of lowering diagnostic thresholds in general and the questionable validity of this proposed diagnosis in particular.

Another concern raised is about the impact of proposed revisions on vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. The letter highlights that the proposed new diagnostic category “Mild Neurocognitive Disorder” might be diagnosed in elderly people whose memory decline simply reflects normal ageing. The Society welcomes the use of an  objective psychometric criterion within this particular DSM-5 diagnosis but shares concerns expressed in the letter about potential for misdiagnosis of normal ageing. We would further highlight the importance of valid psychological interpretation of test results since the proposed psychometric threshold encompasses 1 in 8 of the normal population. There is a particular danger that cognitive functioning of people from ethnic minorities is under-represented on psychometric tests. The Society also shares concerns about the potential for children and adolescents to be misdiagnosed with Disruptive Mood Deregulation Disorder.

We also concur that there is a lack of a solid basis in clinical research literature for this disorder and are also concerned about the risk of harm from inappropriate treatment with neuroleptic medication.

The proposals for the revision of the personality disorders section in DSM-5 are described in the open letter as “perplexing”, “complex” and “idiosyncratic”. The Society has welcomed the move to a dimensional-categorical model for personality disorder. However, we have said that this has not been as visible as expected in the draft revisions.

Moreover, we share concerns expressed in the open letter about the inconsistency of the proposed changes and their limited empirical basis.

Finally, the open letter also draws attention to proposals to revise the basic “Definition of a Mental Disorder” and, in particular, a statement proposed by Stein et al that it “reflects an underlying psychobiological dysfunction”. The Society shares concerns about any unsubstantiated shift in emphasis towards biological factors and in particular the entirely unjustified assertion that all mental disorders represent some form of biological dysfunction. We are, however, reassured by the response from the APA task force (4 November 2011) which states that there is no intent “to diminish the importance of environmental and cultural exposure factors” and hope that this will be reflected in the final version.

In conclusion, the British Psychological Society endorses the concerns expressed in the open letter from the Society of Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the APA and encourage members to view the letter themselves and consider signing the petition (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dsm5/ ). We also urge the DSM 5 taskforce to consider seriously the issues raised therein. These have been now been endorsed by a broad range of experts in mental health, including members of the British Psychological Society and two chairs of previous DSM revision taskforces.

We are, however, encouraged that the DSM taskforce has already responded positively to the open letter and that in their letter (4 November 2011) they emphasized that the manual is “still more than a year away from publication and is continually being refined and reworked”. They commented that “Final decisions about proposed revisions will be made on the basis of field trial data as well on a full consideration of other issues such as those raised by the signatories of the petition.”

In a statement issued on 2 December 2011 the American Psychological Association (APA) called upon the DSM-5 Task Force to “adhere to an open, transparent process based on the best available science and in the best interest of the public”. The British Psychological Society would certainly echo this call.

The final draft of the DSM-5 criteria is due for publication in early 2012 followed by a third, two month, period of public feedback. The Society encourages those members who have relevant expertise to contribute to the on-going process of refinement and improvement of the DSM-5. As a Society we are, as is our counterpart the APA, committed to promoting and disseminating psychological knowledge and, as such, we are keen to ensure that the final version of DSM-5, and other internationally used diagnostic frameworks such as ICD-11, are based on the best available psychological science and will continue to monitor the DSM-5 revision process and contribute further as appropriate.

[Ends]

References:

1] DSM-5 Development site
2] Somatic Symptoms Disorders current proposals
3] DSM-5 Timeline 
4] Coalition for DSM-5 Reform website
5] Petition for mental health professionals can be signed here
6] Dr Allen Frances MD, Chair, DSM-IV Task Force, blogs on DSM-5 on “Psychology Today”
7] Updates and developments on the Coalition for DSM-5 Reform’s petition
8] Media coverage for Coalition for DSM-5 Reform’s petition

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