Submission: Proposal: Add Somatic symptom disorder as inclusion term to ICD-10-CM

Post #309 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-3WD

You have until Friday in which to submit comments on any of the numerous diagnosis proposals presented at the March ICD-10-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting.

Comments should be sent to NCHS, preferably by email, by June 20th deadline: nchsicd9CM@cdc.gov

+++
The next public meeting of the ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee is scheduled for September 23–24, 2014. If you are planning to attend the meeting in person you will need to register online by September 12. Registration opens on August 15.

New proposals for the September 23–24, 2014 meeting must be received by July 18.

+++
September 2013 meeting Diagnosis Agenda

The fall meeting of the ICD-9-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee took place on September 18–19.

The Diagnosis Agenda had included the proposals to add the new DSM-5 disorder terms: Somatic symptom disorder and Illness anxiety disorder to the ICD-10-CM Tabular List and the Alphabetical Index.

Note that the proposal was to add the terms as Inclusion Terms under existing ICD-10-CM Chapter 5 codes, not to create unique new codes for these two terms, or to replace or subsume any existing categories:

ICD10CM 4

Source: Page 45, Diagnosis Agenda (Topic Packet), September 18–19, 2013 ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting

+++
March 2014 meeting Diagnosis Agenda

The spring C & M Committee meeting took place on March 19–20, 2014. I was unable to attend either meeting as I live in the UK, and it is not feasible for me to participate in these public meetings via phone link.

The March Diagnosis Agenda included reiteration of the September proposal to add Somatic symptom disorder to the ICD-10-CM Alphabetical Index, coded to F45.1. (But did not include a resubmission to add to the Tabular List.) The reason for its reiteration in the March Agenda is unclear.

When the March Agenda requests for additions and modifications to the Tabular List were reached, CDC’s Beth Fisher had remarked that some of the proposals for additions to the Tabular List may have been proposed at the September 2013 meeting (though no explanation was given for why some of these September proposals were being duplicated in the March Agenda).

Evidently some Index proposals from the September meeting were also duplicated in the March Agenda, including SSD, but not Illness anxiety disorder.

There were no comments or queries from the floor in relation to proposals for SSD. There were no queries about whether NCHS decisions had already been reached on the requests for additions and modifications submitted via the September meeting.

It remains unclear whether the duplications in the March Agenda were due to administrative oversight, were being included for procedural reasons, or were being re-presented in response to NCHS committee decisions made following the September meeting, to which APA, but not the public at large, might be party to. (The outcome of both the September and March proposals may not be evident until 2015, when the next Addendum is posted.)

March Agenda proposal: Add Somatic symptom disorder to the Index as “– somatic symptom F45.1” under “Disorders”:

+++
March14 ICD-10-CM Cand M SSD to Index

Source: Diagnosis Agenda (Topic Packet) Page 89, March 19-20, 2014 ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting; Screenshot Videocast Three

+++
F45.1 (SSD) and F45.21 (Illness anxiety disorder) are the ICD-10-CM codes to which these two new APA disorders are already cross-walked in the DSM-5:

+++
SSDcrosswalk

+++
If NCHS rubber stamps the addition of Somatic Symptom Disorder to the ICD-10-CM it could leverage future proposals (either by NCHS/CMS or by external requestors) for the replacement of some or all of the existing Somatoform disorders categories with this new, single SSD diagnostic construct, in order to bring ICD-10-CM in line with DSM-5.

There are implications for ICD-11, too. Once SSD is inserted into ICD-10-CM, the presence of this term within the U.S. adaptation of ICD-10 may make it easier for the ICD-11 Revision Steering Group to justify proposals to replace the existing ICD-10 Somatoform disorders categories with a single, new ICD construct incorporating SSD-like characteristics, to facilitate harmonization between ICD-11 and DSM-5 disorder terms and diagnostic criteria.

Comments by June 20th deadline, preferably by email, to: nchsicd9CM@cdc.gov

Below is my own submission to NCHS in PDF

Click link for PDF document   NCHS Submission Chapman June 14

and as text:


To: NCHS  nchsicd9CM@cdc.gov

Re: Comment on proposals, March 19-20, 2014 meeting of ICD-10-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee.

Diagnosis Agenda Page 89: Under “Proposed Index Modifications”: Add Somatic symptom disorder to ICD-10-CM Alphabetical Index (F45.1)

Proposal requestor: Unspecified

Comment submitted by Suzy Chapman DipAD, [Address redacted]

Date submitted: June 15, 2014

I write in objection to the proposed addition of Somatic symptom disorder to the ICD-10-CM Alphabetical Index for consideration for implementation on October 1, 2015 [or on and after October 1, 2016 after the partial code freeze has ended, as applicable].

This March 19-20, 2014 meeting proposal duplicates the request at the September 18-19, 2013 meeting for the addition of Somatic symptom disorder to the ICD-10-CM Index (and to the Tabular List) as an Inclusion Term to existing code, F45.1 Undifferentiated somatoform disorder.

Somatic symptom disorder is a new disorder conceptualization created by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for DSM-5.

For DSM-5, the Somatoform Disorders have been dismantled. Four DSM-IV categories: somatization disorder [300.81], some presentations of hypochondriasis [300.7], pain disorder, and undifferentiated somatoform disorder [300.82] are eliminated and replaced with a single new diagnosis, Somatic symptom disorder (SSD), cross-walked in DSM-5 to ICD-9 300.82 (ICD-10-CM F45.1).

The Somatic symptom disorder construct de-emphasizes “medically unexplained” as the central defining feature of this disorder group. Instead, the focus shifts away from somatic symptoms to emotional, cognitive and behavioral disturbances and “maladaptive” responses to symptoms: high levels of health anxiety; disproportionate and persistent concerns about the medical seriousness of the symptom(s); or an excessive amount of time and energy devoted to symptoms and health concerns.

Symptoms may or may not be associated with another medical condition: SSD allows for the application of a mental disorder diagnosis in patients with “established general medical conditions or disorders” like diabetes, heart disease and cancer or presenting with “somatic symptoms of unclear etiology” if the clinician considers the patient otherwise meets the new criteria.

To meet the requirements for DSM-IV’s Somatization disorder, a rigorous criteria set needed to be fulfilled: a history of many medically unexplained symptoms before the age of thirty, resulting in treatment sought or psychosocial impairment. And a high diagnostic threshold: a total of eight or more medically unexplained symptoms from four, specified symptom groups, with at least four pain, two gastrointestinal, one psychosexual and one pseudoneurological symptom.

In DSM-5, the requirement for eight symptoms has been dropped to just one or more persistent, non specific, distressing somatic symptoms and the clinician’s perception of “excessive” or “maladaptive” response to the symptom or symptoms.

• These changes for DSM-5 represent a radical restructuring of the DSM-IV Somatoform disorders framework and introduce a new construct for which much remains to be determined.

On Day Two of the September 18-19, 2013 ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting, Dr Darrel Regier had presented and discussed rationales, coding proposals and timings for six new DSM-5 disorders that APA has proposed for insertion into ICD-10-CM. But the Diagnosis Agenda proposals to add the new DSM-5 Somatic symptom disorder and Illness anxiety disorder category terms as inclusion terms to ICD-10-CM did not form part of Dr Regier’s presentation.

As it was unspecified within the Diagnosis Agenda and during the meeting presentations, it is unclear whether these two proposals are being requested by APA, by NCHS/CMS, or by other parties or individuals.

+++
• My first concern is that no description of Somatic symptom disorder, no rationale for why this ICD-10-CM modification is needed (including clinical relevancy) and no supporting clinical and literature references for the validity of Somatic symptom disorder as a new disorder were published in the Diagnosis Agenda for either the September or March meeting.

At the public meeting, no presentation had been made on behalf of APA, or by representatives of NCHS or CMS, or by anyone else for the specific Agenda proposal to add Somatic symptom disorder as an inclusion term under an existing ICD-10-CM Somatoform disorders code and there was no discussion of this proposal during the course of the meeting [1][2].

There is an expectation that the committees overseeing the development and revision of the draft for ICD-10-CM will give due consideration to the applicability, clinical utility, safety and reliability of any proposal for the inclusion of a new disorder construct before granting approval for its addition to the Tabular List and Index, and that the comments and objections received during the public response period will also be considered. The lack of rationales and references for supportive evidence provided by the requestors hinders public participation in the response process.

• The absence from the Diagnosis Agendas and meeting presentations of rationales, clinical relevancy and supporting clinical and literature references to enable proper public scrutiny, consideration and informed responses to this proposal should disqualify Somatic symptom disorder from consideration for implementation once the partial code freeze has lifted.

+++
The burden of proof before introducing any new diagnosis into a classification system is that it has a favourable risk to benefit ratio. This new diagnostic construct created by APA and introduced into DSM-5 merits the same level of scrutiny and risk to benefit evaluation as would be expected to be applied to any proposed new disorder/disease that is under consideration for inclusion in any chapter of ICD, whether this is for the updating of the ICD-10-CM draft, updating of WHO’s ICD-10, updating of clinical modifications of ICD-10, or drafting of ICD-11.

A number of papers have noted the paucity of rigorous evidence for the validity, reliability, acceptability, safety and utility of the application of the Somatic symptom disorder construct in adults and children across diverse clinical settings and by a spectrum of health and allied professionals. There is no significant body of published research on the epidemiology, clinical characteristics or treatment of the Somatic symptom disorder construct [3][4][5].

In a paper published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, September 2013, the DSM-5 Somatic symptom disorder Work Group concedes the lack of clinical evidence for its new construct and acknowledges the “small amount of validity data concerning SSD” and “that much remains to be determined” about the utility and reliability of the specific SSD criteria and its thresholds when applied in busy, general clinical practice, and there are “vital questions that must be answered” as they go forward [6].

• As an under researched, poorly validated disorder construct, Somatic symptom disorder does not meet NCHS/CMS criteria for new diseases/new technology procedures, and any minor revisions to correct reported errors in these classification and should be rejected for consideration for implementation during a partial code freeze and also rejected for consideration for implementation on or after October 1, 2015 [October 1, 2016].

+++
Concerns for the looseness of the Somatic symptom disorder definition and the ease with which these new criteria can be met have been discussed in a number of published papers and commentaries [7][8][9][10].

The over-inclusiveness of the SSD diagnosis is borne out by the results of the DSM-5 field trial study reported by Joel E Dimsdale, MD, chair of the Somatic symptom disorder Work Group, at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

15% of the ‘diagnosed illness’ study group, comprising patients with cancer or coronary disease, were caught by SSD and would meet the criteria for application of an additional mental disorder diagnosis.

26% of the ‘functional somatic’ study group, comprising patients with irritable bowel syndrome or chronic widespread pain, met the SSD criteria.

SSD has a high false positive rate – capturing 7% of the ‘healthy’ field trial control group.

It is disturbing that the SSD Work Group (which had included no primary care physicians or pediatricians) appears not to have undertaken any field trials into the safety of application of the SSD criteria in children and adolescents.

NCHS/CMS provides no references for data for the application of SSD in children within the Diagnosis Agenda, although the DSM-5 text clearly indicates APA’s intention that SSD is a diagnosis that may also be applied to children with persistent, distressing somatic symptoms.

+++
Potential implications for the application of a diagnosis of SSD:

I am not persuaded that the new SSD diagnosis can be safely applied outside the optimal conditions of field trials, in settings where practitioners may not necessarily have adequate time for, or instruction in administration of diagnostic assessment tools, and where decisions to code or not to code may hang on the arbitrary and subjective perceptions of a wide range of end-users who may lack clinical training in the application of mental disorder criteria.

Misapplication of highly subjective and loose, easily met criteria, especially in busy primary care practice, may result in inappropriate diagnoses of mental disorder and inappropriate medical decision making, with considerable implications for patients [11].

A recent study (Plouvier et al, 2014) found more frequent presentation with functional somatic symptoms and multiple prodromal symptoms in the two year period prior to diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease than controls [12].

Incautious application or a pre-existing diagnosis of SSD in the patient’s notes may blunt clinician alertness and receptivity to emerging prodromal symptomotology of serious disease.

Patients with chronic, multiple bodily symptoms due to rare diseases, difficult to diagnose conditions, or multi system diseases like Behçet’s disease, for which it can take several years to arrive at a diagnosis, may be especially vulnerable to missed diagnosis or to misdiagnosis with a mental disorder, impeding access to testing, investigations, timely diagnosis and early intervention (and may result in increased claims against practitioners for medical negligence).

With the elimination of the requirement that symptoms be “medically unexplained” and inclusion of the presence of a co-occurring physical health condition, a mental disorder diagnosis of SSD can be applied as a “bolt-on” to any chronic medical diagnosis: to patients with diabetes, angina, cancer, MS, cardiovascular disease, ME and CFS, IBS, chronic widespread pain (aka fibromyalgia), chronic pain conditions or persistent symptoms of unclear etiology.

Patients with Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), “almost a poster child for medically unexplained symptoms as a diagnosis,” according to the SSD Work Group chair, or with chronic Lyme disease, Gulf War illness, chemical injury and chemical sensitivity; women with potential symptoms of gynecological disease, like ovarian cancer – already often late-diagnosed because persistent symptoms had been initially dismissed as IBS or a menopausal-related bladder complaint; or women with endometriosis or interstitial cystitis may be particularly vulnerable to misapplication or misdiagnosis with a mental health disorder under SSD criteria.

(There is also a Brief somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5, cross-walked to ICD-9 F45.8, that can be applied where duration of symptoms is less than 6 months. Just one somatic symptom and one “disproportionate” psychobehavioral response to that symptom, for less than 6 months chronicity, now ticks the box for a mental health diagnosis.)

There has been considerable opposition to the introduction of this new, poorly tested construct into the DSM-5 amongst patients, carers, advocates, consumer organizations, mental health practitioners and clinicians and considerable concern for the implications for diverse patient populations that the Somatic Symptom Disorder category will provide a “dustbin diagnosis” for the so-called “functional somatic syndromes,” for those living with chronic pain and for patients with persistent, but as yet undiagnosed, symptoms of disease.

• NCHS/CMS has published no independent field trial data and provided no rationales or clinical and literature references to inform public responses.

Given the lack of published evidence for the validity and safety of SSD, there is insufficient basis for the approval of SSD for inclusion within ICD-10-CM and it would be scientifically unsafe, premature and against the public interest to include this new diagnostic construct within ICD.

The proposal for the addition of Somatic symptom disorder to the ICD-10-CM as an inclusion term to the Index and Tabular List should be rejected. There should be no implementation in October 2016 as an inclusion term to F45.1, or to any other existing code, or with a unique code created.

+++
Appendix:

Incautious, inept application of criteria resulting in a “bolt-on” psychiatric diagnosis of Somatic symptom disorder has far-reaching implications for diverse patient populations:

Application of highly subjective and difficult to measure criteria could potentially result in misdiagnosis with a mental disorder, misapplication of an additional diagnosis of a mental disorder or missed diagnoses through dismissal and failure to investigate new or worsening somatic symptoms.

Patients with cancer and life threatening diseases may be reluctant to report new symptoms that might be early indicators of recurrence, metastasis or secondary disease for fear of attracting a diagnosis of SSD or being labelled as “catastrophizers.”

Application of an additional diagnosis of SSD may have implications for the types of medical investigations, tests and interventions that clinicians are prepared to consider and for which insurers are prepared to fund.

Application of an additional diagnosis of SSD may impact payment of employment, medical and disability insurance and the length of time for which insurers are prepared to pay out.

 An SSD diagnosis may negatively influence the perceptions of agencies involved with assessment and provision of social care packages, disability adaptations, workplace accommodations, provision of education arrangements tailored to the needs of children with chronic illness, and the perceptions of medical staff during hospital and accident and emergency admission, and prejudice future employment options.

Patients prescribed psychotropic drugs for perceived unreasonable levels of “illness worry” or “excessive preoccupation with symptoms” may be placed at risk of iatrogenic disease or subjected to inappropriate and costly behavioural therapies.

Multi-system diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Behçet’s disease or Systemic lupus can take several years before a diagnosis is arrived at. In the meantime, patients with chronic, multiple somatic symptoms who are still waiting for a diagnosis would be vulnerable to being labelled with a mental disorder.

The burden of the DSM-5 changes to Somatoform disorders will fall particularly heavily upon women who are more likely to be casually dismissed when presenting with physical symptoms and more likely to be prescribed inappropriate antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for them.

Somatic symptom disorder allows for the application of a diagnosis of SSD in children and where a parent is perceived as being excessively concerned about a child’s symptoms.

The diagnostic term “Somatic Symptom Disorder” is already being applied to children despite the lack of a body of evidence for the reliability, safety and validity of the DSM-5 SSD criteria [13].

I am deeply concerned that NCHS/CMS is considering inclusion of a new diagnostic term within ICD when no studies have been carried out into the safety of its application in children and adolescents.

Families caring for children and young people with any chronic disease or condition may be placed at increased risk of wrongful accusation of “over-involvement” with their child’s symptomatology.

Where a parent is perceived as responsible for, or encouraging maintenance of “sick role behavior” or “secondary gains” in a child, this can trigger social services investigation, or court intervention for the forced removal of a sick child out of the home environment and into foster care or in-patient rehabilitation, or placement of the child on the “at risk register.”

This is already happening to families in the U.S., UK and Europe with a child or young adult with chronic illness, notably with Chronic fatigue syndrome or ME. It may happen more frequently with a diagnosis of SSD or of chronic childhood illness + SSD.

Where there are disputes between the family and clinicians over an assigned diagnosis or where there is disagreement between clinicians over the etiology of a child’s symptoms, an earlier or concurrent diagnosis of SSD may prejudice the family’s rights and the rights of the child or young person to determine what treatments are administered, where and by whom; or may be used to override or attempt to override the right to consent to treatments, or as a means of limiting parental access to the child and parental involvement in a treatment plan.

A diagnosis of SSD may also impact on a child’s access to suitable educational arrangements, including part-time school attendance, rest periods, reduced curriculum, home tutoring, examination concessions, provision of an amanuensis etc. and access to disability aids and adaptations, or to unhindered use of existing aids, such as wheelchairs.

Again, there is insufficient basis for the approval of SSD for inclusion within ICD-10-CM for application in children or adults. It is scientifically unsafe, premature and against the public interest to include this poorly tested diagnostic construct within ICD.

Thank you for your consideration.

+++
References:

1.Diagnosis Agenda,September 18-19, 2013 meeting of the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee.

2.Summary of Diagnosis Presentations, September 18-19, 2013 meeting of the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee.

3. DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group Disorder Descriptions and Justification of Criteria – Somatic Symptoms, published May 2011, for second DSM-5 stakeholder review.

4. Robert L. Woolfolk and Lesley A. Allen (2012). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Somatoform Disorders, Standard and Innovative Strategies in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dr. Irismar Reis De Oliveira (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0312-7

5. Ghanizadeh A, Firoozabadi A. A review of somatoform disorders in DSM-IV and somatic symptom disorders in proposed DSM-V. Psychiatr Danub. 2012 Dec;24(4):353-8.

6. Dimsdale JE, Creed F, Escobar J, Sharpe M, Wulsin L, Barsky A, Lee S, Irwin MR, Levenson J. Somatic Symptom Disorder: An important change in DSM. J Psychosom Res. 2013 Sep;75(3):223-8. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

7. Frances A. The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill. BMJ. 2013 Mar 18;346:f1580. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1580.

8. Frances A. DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Jun;201(6):530-1. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318294827c.

9. Frances A, Chapman S. DSM-5 somatic symptom disorder mislabels medical illness as mental disorder. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2013 May;47(5):483-4. doi:10.1177/0004867413484525.

10. Wolfe F, Walitt BT, Katz RS, Häuser W. Symptoms, the nature of fibromyalgia, and diagnostic and statistical manual 5 (DSM-5) defined mental illness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 14;9(2):e88740. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088740. eCollection 2014.

11. Dimsdale JE. Medically unexplained symptoms: a treacherous foundation for somatoform disorders? Psychiatr Clin North Am 2011;34:511-3.

12. Plouvier AO, Hameleers RJ, van den Heuvel EA, Bor HH, Olde Hartman TC, Bloem BR, van Weel C, Lagro-Janssen AL2. Prodromal symptoms and early detection of Parkinson’s disease in general practice: a nested case-control study. Fam Pract. 2014 May 28. pii: cmu025. [Epub ahead of print]

13. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Juvenile Court Department, Court document, Honourable Joseph Johnston, March 25, 2014, Re: Care and Protection of Justina Pelletier: http://cbsboston.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/scan.pdf

Interest:

Carer/advocate for adult with long-term medical condition. Owner of website Dx Revision Watch, Monitoring the revision of DSM-5 and ICD-11. Co-author, journal papers and commentaries on the SSD construct (with Professor Allen Frances).

 

Advertisements

Correspondence In Press in response to Dimsdale et al paper: Somatic Symptom Disorder: An important change in DSM

Post #284 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-3yQ

Update: The four letters, below, published In Press in Journal of Psychosomatic Research are now published in the December 2013 issue:

Issue: Vol 75 | No. 6 | December 2013 | Pages 497-588

Update: Editorial by Michael Sharpe, DSM-5 Somatic symptom disorder Work Group member

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/203/5/320.abstract
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/203/5/320.full.pdf+html

Editorial: Somatic symptoms: beyond ‘medically unexplained’

BJP November 2013 203:320-321; doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.112.122523

Michael Sharpe FRCPsych, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK.

Abstract

Somatic symptoms may be classified as either ‘medically explained’ or ‘medically unexplained’ – the former being considered medical and the latter psychiatric. In healthcare systems focused on disease, this distinction has pragmatic value. However, new scientific evidence and psychiatric classification urge a more integrated approach with important implications for psychiatry.

A paper by DSM-5 Work Group members, Dimsdale JE, Creed F, Escobar J, Sharpe M, Wulsin L, Barsky A, Lee S, Irwin MR, Levenson J, titled Somatic Symptom Disorder: An important change in DSM, was published in the September issue of Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

There are four responses to this paper currently In Press. Subscription or payment is required to access the full text of these responses but the Dimsdale et al paper is now available free of charge:

http://www.jpsychores.com/inpress

http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00345-0/fulltext

Correspondence

The somatic symptom disorder in DSM 5 risks mislabelling people with major medical diseases as mentally ill

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.09.005

Winfried Häuser

Department of Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, Germany
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Technische Universität München, München, Germany

Frederick Wolfe

National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, Wichita, USA

In Press Corrected Proof Received 2 September 2013; accepted 25 September 2013. published online 28 October 2013.

Dimsdale and co-authors present data on the reliability, validity, and prevalence of the new DSM 5 category “Somatic Symptom disorder” (SSD) defined by persistent somatic symptoms in conjunction with…

http://www.jpsychores.com/inpress

http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00349-8/fulltext

Correspondence

Diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder requires clinical judgment

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.09.009

Joel E. Dimsdale

Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, United States
[Ed: DSM-5 SSD Work Group Chair]

James Levenson

Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, United States
[Ed: DSM-5 SSD Work Group Member]

In Press Corrected Proof Received 27 September 2013; accepted 27 September 2013. published online 01 November 2013.

The diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder (SSD) rests on the presence of 3 factors—1. distressing and impairing somatic symptoms, 2. that are persistent at least 6 months, and 3. that are associated…

http://www.jpsychores.com/inpress

http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00378-4/fulltext

Correspondence

A commentary on: Somatic symptom disorder: An important change in DSM

DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.10.012

Winfried Rief

Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany

Available online 1 November 2013

The songs of praise about DSM-5 and its innovations are disseminated through the media, and consequently, a positive evaluation of the new category of somatic symptom and associated disorders was published…

http://www.jpsychores.com/inpress

http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00393-0/fulltext

Correspondence

Tradeoffs between validity and utility in the diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder

DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.10.015

Joel E. Dimsdale

Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, United States
[Ed: DSM-5 SSD Work Group Chair]

James Levenson

Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, United States
[Ed: DSM-5 SSD Work Group Member]

Available online 31 October 2013

We appreciate the opportunity of responding to Professor Rief’s thoughtful letter concerning the thinking that guided our workgroup’s proposals for Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD). When we started out…

in response to paper:

http://tinyurl.com/SSDPDFresearchgate [Download Free PDF from link on right of webpage.]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23972410

Somatic Symptom Disorder: An important change in DSM.

Dimsdale JE, Creed F, Escobar J, Sharpe M, Wulsin L, Barsky A, Lee S, Irwin MR, Levenson J.

J Psychosom Res. 2013 Sep;75(3):223-8. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Abstract: http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00265-1/abstract [Free]

Full text: http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00265-1/fulltext

References: http://www.jpsychores.com/article/PIIS0022399913002651/references


+++
Commentaries on Somatic Symptom Disorder published in 2013 journal papers

In the June 2013 edition of Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders, Allen Frances, MD, who chaired the Task Force for DSM-IV, discusses his concerns for the loosely defined DSM-5 category, Somatic Symptom Disorder, sets out his suggestions for revising the criteria prior to finalization, as presented to the SSD Work Group chair, in December 2012, and advises clinicians against using the new SSD diagnosis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23719325

DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder.

Frances A.

Department of Psychiatry, Duke University, Durham, NC.

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Jun;201(6):530-1. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318294827c. No abstract available.

PMID: 23719325

+++

Commentary by Allen Frances, MD, and Suzy Chapman in the May 2012 issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. The paper discusses the over-inclusive DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder criteria and the potential implications for diverse patient groups. The paper concludes by advising clinicians not to use the new SSD diagnosis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23653063

DSM-5 somatic symptom disorder mislabels medical illness as mental disorder.

Allen Frances¹, Suzy Chapman²

1 Department of Psychiatry, Duke University 2 DxRevisionWatch.com

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2013 May;47(5):483-4. doi: 10.1177/0004867413484525. No abstract available.

PMID: 23653063

+++

The April 22, 2013 edition of Current Biology published a feature article on DSM-5 by science writer, Michael Gross, Ph.D. The article includes quotes from Allen Frances, MD, and Suzy Chapman on potential implications for patients for the application of the new DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder. The article includes concerns for the influence of Somatic Symptom Disorder on proposals for a new ICD category – Bodily Distress Disorder – being field tested for ICD-11.

Current Biology 22 April, 2013 Volume 23, Issue 8

Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. Current Biology, Volume  23, Issue  8, R295-R298, 22 April 2013

doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.009

Feature

Has the manual gone mental?

Michael Gross

Full text: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(13)00417-X

PDF: http://download.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/PIIS096098221300417X.pdf

+++

In a BMJ opinion piece, published March 2013, Allen Frances, MD, opposes the new Somatic Symptom Disorder, discusses lack of specificity, data from the field trials, and advises clinicians to ignore this new category.

PDF for full text

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23511949

The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill.

Frances A.

Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-IV task force

BMJ. 2013 Mar 18;346:f1580. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1580. No abstract available.

PMID: 23511949

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

+++
Somatic Symptom Disorder is also included in Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-Of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life (pp. 193-6): Allen Frances, William Morrow & Company (May 2013).

Also Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Responding to the Challenge of DSM-5 (Chapter 16): Allen Frances, Guilford Press (June 2013).

+++

Further reading

Objection to proposal to insert DSM-5′s Somatic symptom disorder into ICD-10-CM Suzy Chapman, Public submission, ICD-9-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting September 18-19, 2013

APA Somatic Symptom Disorder Fact Sheet APA DSM-5 Resources

Somatic Chapter Drops Centrality Of Unexplained Medical Symptoms Psychiatric News, Mark Moran, March 1, 2013

Somatic Symptoms Criteria in DSM-5 Improve Diagnosis, Care David J Kupfer, MD, Chair, DSM-5 Task Force, defends the SSD construct, Huffington Post, February 8, 2013

The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill Allen Frances, MD, BMJ 2013;346:f1580 BMJ Press Release PDF for full text

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis Suzy Chapman, May 26, 2012

Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder Allen Frances, MD, Psychology Today, DSM 5 in Distress, December 8, 2012

Why Did DSM 5 Botch Somatic Symptom Disorder? Allen Frances, MD, Psychology Today, Saving Normal, February 6, 2013

New Psych Disorder Could Mislabel Sick as Mentally Ill Susan Donaldson James, ABC News, February 27, 2013

Dimsdale JE. Medically unexplained symptoms: a treacherous foundation for somatoform disorders? Psychiatr Clin North Am 2011;34:511-3. [PMID: 21889675]

DSM-5 Somatic Symptoms Disorders work group publishes SSD field trial data

Post #272 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-3ke

Update: Somatic Symptom Disorder: An important change in DSM. is now published in the September 2013 issue, J Psychosom Res. A subscription or payment is required to access this paper.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23972410

J Psychosom Res. 2013 Sep;75(3):223-8. Epub 2013 Jul 25.
Dimsdale JE, Creed F, Escobar J, Sharpe M, Wulsin L, Barsky A, Lee S, Irwin MR, Levenson J.

DSM-5 Somatic Symptoms Disorders work group publishes SSD field trial data…behind a paywall

Reports on the findings of the DSM-5 field trials have been slow to emerge.

Kappa results trickled out in dribs and drabs; work group chairs presented limited field trial data at the APA’s 2012 Annual Meeting. There remains a paucity of information on field trial study protocols, patient selection, field test results and analysis.

This is of particular concern where radical changes to DSM-IV definitions and criteria were introduced into DSM-5 and are now out there in the field.

A good example is the new DSM-5 “Somatic Symptom Disorder” category, where there is no substantial body of evidence for the reliability, validity, prevalence, safety, acceptability and clinical utility of the implementation of this new disorder construct – though that did not stop them barrelling it through to the final draft.

In its paper, the SSD Work Group acknowledges the “small amount of validity data concerning SSD”; that much “remains to be determined” about the utility and reliability of the specific SSD criteria and its thresholds when applied in busy, general clinical practice and that there are “vital questions that must be answered” as they go forward.

They don’t sound any too confident about what they’ve barrelled through; but neither do they seem overly concerned.

With remarkable insouciance, SSD Work Group Chair, Joel E Dimsdale, told ABC journalist, Susan Donaldson James, “…If it doesn’t work, we’ll fix it in the DSM-5.1 or DSM-6.” (ABC News, February 27, 2013).

Cavia15The implementation of SSD in the DSM-5 is a Beta trial; the public – adults and children – unwitting guinea pigs.

Members of the DSM-5 Somatic Symptoms Disorders Work Group have just published a report – Somatic Symptom Disorder: An important change in DSM.

APA owns the output of the DSM-5 work groups but this report isn’t posted on the APA’s DSM-5 Development site or on the Field Trials or DSM-5 Resources pages.

It’s being published (currently In Press) in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, for which DSM-5 SSD Work Group member, James Levenson, is a Co-Editor and for which SSD Work Group member, Francis Creed, a past Editor.

Unless you are a subscriber to JPS or have institution access you will need to cough up $30 to access this paper.

DSM-5 Task Force’s Regier and Kupfer have been banging on for years about how transparent the development process for this most recent iteration of the DSM has been. Yet reports on field trial findings and analysis of studies cited in support of the introduction of radical new constructs for DSM are stuffed behind paywalls.

Why are DSM-5 work group reports not being published on the DSM-5 Development website or other APA platforms or published in journals under Creative Commons Licenses, for ease of public accessibility, professional and consumer stakeholder scrutiny and discussion, and for accountability?

The development of ICD-11 is also being promoted by WHO’s Bedirhan Üstün as an open and transparent process.

But emerging proposals from the two working groups charged with making recommendations for revision of ICD-10′s Somatoform Disorders (the Primary Care Consultation Group, chaired by Prof Sir David Goldberg and the WHO Expert Working Group on Somatic Distress and Dissociative Disorders, chaired by Prof Oje Gureje) were also published, last year, in subscription journals and subject to those journals’ respective copyright restrictions [1] [2].

1. Lam TP et al. Proposed new diagnoses of anxious depression and bodily stress syndrome in ICD-11-PHC: an international focus group study. Fam Pract. 2013 Feb;30(1):76-87. [Abstract: PMID:22843638]
2. Creed F, Gureje O. Emerging themes in the revision of the classification of somatoform disorders. Int Rev Psychiatry 2012;24:556-67. [Abstract: PMID: 23244611]

Why are ICD-11 working group progress reports on emerging proposals for potential new ICD disorders and focus group study reports not being published on platforms accessible, without payment, to all classes of ICD stakeholder?

The SSD Work Group paper is authored by Joel E Dimsdale (Chair), Francis Creed, Javier Escobar, Michael Sharpe, Lawson Wulsin, Arthur Barsky, Sing Lee, Michael R. Irwin and James Levenson.

[Although not a member of the SSD Work Group, Javier Escobar is Task Force liaison to the SSD work group and works closely with the group. Francis J Keefe (not included in the paper’s authors) is a member of the SSD Work Group. Nancy Frasure-Smith (not included in the paper’s authors) served as a member of the Work Group from 2007-2011 and was not replaced following withdrawal.]

The paper describes the DSM-5 Work Group’s rationale for the new SSD diagnosis (which replaces four DSM-IV categories); defines the construct, discusses field trial kappa data (inter-rater reliability), presents limited data for validity of SSD, clinical utility and potential prevalence rates, and briefly discusses tasks for future research, education and clinical practice.

http://www.jpsychores.com/

July 2013, Vol. 75, No. 1

In Press

Somatic Symptom Disorder: An important change in DSM

29 July 2013

Joel E. Dimsdale, Francis Creed, Javier Escobar, Michael Sharpe, Lawson Wulsin, Arthur Barsky, Sing Lee, Michael R. Irwin, James Levenson

Received 4 April 2013; received in revised form 27 June 2013; accepted 29 June 2013. published online 29 July 2013.

Corrected Proof

doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.06.033

Abstract: http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00265-1/abstract [Free]

Full text: http://www.jpsychores.com/article/S0022-3999(13)00265-1/fulltext  [Paywall]

References: http://www.jpsychores.com/article/PIIS0022399913002651/references  [Paywall]


Commentaries on Somatic Symptom Disorder in recent journal papers

In the June 2013 edition of Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders, Allen Frances, MD, who chaired the Task Force for DSM-IV, discusses his concerns for the loosely defined DSM-5 category, Somatic Symptom Disorder, sets out his suggestions for revising the criteria prior to finalization, as presented to the SSD Work Group chair, in December 2012, and advises clinicians against using the new SSD diagnosis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23719325

DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder.

Frances A.

Department of Psychiatry, Duke University, Durham, NC.

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Jun;201(6):530-1. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318294827c. No abstract available.

PMID: 23719325

+++

Commentary by Allen Frances, MD, and Suzy Chapman in the May 2012 issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. The paper discusses the over-inclusive DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder criteria and the potential implications for diverse patient groups. The paper concludes by advising clinicians not to use the new SSD diagnosis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23653063

DSM-5 somatic symptom disorder mislabels medical illness as mental disorder.

Allen Frances¹, Suzy Chapman²

1 Department of Psychiatry, Duke University 2 DxRevisionWatch.com

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2013 May;47(5):483-4. doi: 10.1177/0004867413484525. No abstract available.

PMID: 23653063

+++

The April 22, 2013 edition of Current Biology published a feature article on DSM-5 by science writer, Michael Gross, Ph.D. The article includes quotes from Allen Frances, MD, and Suzy Chapman on potential implications for patients for the application of the new DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder. The article includes concerns for the influence of Somatic Symptom Disorder on proposals for a new ICD category – Bodily Distress Disorder – being field tested for ICD-11.

Current Biology 22 April, 2013 Volume 23, Issue 8

Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. Current Biology, Volume  23, Issue  8, R295-R298, 22 April 2013

doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.009

Feature

Has the manual gone mental?

Michael Gross

Full text: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(13)00417-X

PDF: http://download.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/PIIS096098221300417X.pdf

+++

In a BMJ opinion piece, published March 2013, Allen Frances, MD, opposes the new Somatic Symptom Disorder, discusses lack of specificity, data from the field trials, and advises clinicians to ignore this new category.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23511949

The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill.

Frances A.

Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-IV task force

BMJ. 2013 Mar 18;346:f1580. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1580. No abstract available.

PMID: 23511949

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

+++
Somatic Symptom Disorder is also included in Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-Of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life (pp. 193-6): Allen Frances, William Morrow & Company (May 2013).

Also Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Responding to the Challenge of DSM-5 (Chapter 16): Allen Frances, Guilford Press (June 2013).

+++

Further reading

APA Somatic Symptom Disorder Fact Sheet APA DSM-5 Resources

Somatic Chapter Drops Centrality Of Unexplained Medical Symptoms Psychiatric News, Mark Moran, March 1, 2013

Somatic Symptoms Criteria in DSM-5 Improve Diagnosis, Care David J Kupfer, MD, Chair, DSM-5 Task Force, defends the SSD construct, Huffington Post, February 8, 2013

The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill Allen Frances, MD, BMJ 2013;346:f1580 BMJ Press Release

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis Suzy Chapman, May 26, 2012

Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder Allen Frances, MD, Psychology Today, DSM 5 in Distress, December 8, 2012

Why Did DSM 5 Botch Somatic Symptom Disorder? Allen Frances, MD, Psychology Today, Saving Normal, February 6, 2013

New Psych Disorder Could Mislabel Sick as Mentally Ill Susan Donaldson James, ABC News, February 27, 2013

Dimsdale JE. Medically unexplained symptoms: a treacherous foundation for somatoform disorders? Psychiatr Clin North Am 2011;34:511-3. [PMID: 21889675]

Three BMJ letters published in response to Somatic Symptom Disorder commentary

Three letters are published this week in response to Allen Frances’ BMJ commentary on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’

Post #237 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2No

On March 19, BMJ published a commentary by Allen Frances, MD, with contribution from Suzy Chapman, in both the print and online editions, strongly opposing the inclusion of ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ in the forthcoming DSM-5:

PERSONAL VIEW
The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill
This new condition suggested in the bible of mental health diagnoses lacks specificity, says Allen Frances

The opinion piece was also featured as US Editor’s Choice:

DSM-5 and the rough ride from approval to publication
Edward Davies, US news and features editor, BMJ

BMJ press released the commentary which was picked up by a number of international media sites including UK Times and Deborah Brauser for Medscape Medical News. To date, 31 Rapid Responses have been received.

Three letters (all US respondents) are printed in this week’s BMJ print edition (20 April 2013 Vol 346, Issue 7904). The letters are behind a paywall so I am giving links to the original BMJ Rapid Responses, with the caveat that responses may have been edited for the print edition:

+++
LETTERS
New somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5

Helping to find the most accurate diagnosis

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2228 (Published 16 April 2013) BMJ 2013;346:f2228
Joel E Dimsdale, professor of psychiatry emeritus, Michael Sharpe, professor of psychiatry, Francis Creed, professor of psychiatry, DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorders work group  BMJ Rapid Response 20 March 2013

+++
Guilty of diagnostic expansion

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2254 (Published 16 April 2013) BMJ 2013;346:f2254
James Phillips, psychiatrist, USA  BMJ Rapid Response 25 March 2013

+++
A step in the wrong direction

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2233 (Published 16 April 2013) BMJ 2013;346:f2233
Steven A King, chair, DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR pain disorders committees; Pain Management and Psychiatry, New York  BMJ Rapid Response 28 March 2013

+++
Further reading:

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis Suzy Chapman, May 26, 2012
Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder Allen Frances, MD, Psychology Today, DSM 5 in Distress, December 8, 2012
Why Did DSM 5 Botch Somatic Symptom Disorder? Allen Frances, MD, Psychology Today, Saving Normal, February 6, 2013
New Psych Disorder Could Mislabel Sick as Mentally Ill Susan Donaldson James, ABC News, February 27, 2013
Dimsdale JE. Medically unexplained symptoms: a treacherous foundation for somatoform disorders? Psychiatr Clin North Am 2011;34:511-3. [PMID: 21889675]

+++
American Psychiatric Association justifications for SSD:

APA Somatic Symptom Disorder Fact Sheet 
Somatic Chapter Drops Centrality Of Unexplained Medical Symptoms Psychiatric News, Mark Moran, March 1, 2013
Somatic Symptoms Criteria in DSM-5 Improve Diagnosis, Care David J Kupfer, MD, Chair, DSM-5 Task Force, defends the SSD construct, Huffington Post, February 8, 2013

DSM-5 Task Force Ponders Round 2 of Public Feedback: Deborah Brauser for Medscape Medical News

DSM-5 Task Force Ponders Round 2 of Public Feedback: Deborah Brauser for Medscape Medical News

Post #110 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1lA

The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 Task Force published no breakdowns for the number of submissions received by each of its 13 Work Groups during the first and second public stakeholder reviews of draft proposals for revision of DSM-IV categories and criteria.

Nor has the Task Force made public lists of names of those professional bodies, organizations and institutions that have submitted feedback.

These stakeholder reviews of draft proposals are not organized as formal consultation processes and few organizations appear to receive any response from the Task Force.

But the British Psychological Society (BPS) did receive a reply to their critical submission, published in June, and the response from Dr Darrel Regier, Vice-Chair of the DSM-5 Task Force, can be read here.

At the end of August, Deborah Brauser, writing for Medscape Medical News, reported on the closure of the second public stakeholder review with quotes from DSM-5 Task Force Chair, David Kupfer, MD, around which DSM categories had received the greatest number of responses during the second review.

Ms Brauser reports:

“According to Dr. Kupfer, the specific diagnostic categories that received the most feedback were sexual and gender identity disorders, followed closely by somatic symptom and anxiety disorders.”

“In addition, the Neurodevelopmental Work Group continued to receive commentary on the issue of autism. But I think it was much, much less than it had received previously. After that, there was a reasonable drop-off in the other groups,” he said.

“Substance abuse and mood disorders received the next highest number of comments, followed by personality disorders.”

On May 4, the Task Force posted revised draft proposals for categories and criteria on its DSM-5 Development website with no prior announcement on the site, itself, and with no news release being issued by the APA. The comment period, which had been scheduled to run only until June 15, was extended by an additional four weeks on the day after it had been due to close.

There were 2120 individual comments in the second public review. 8600 comments were reported to have been received during the first public review, in the Spring of 2010.

A third and final public feedback period is scheduled for early 2012. The full Medscape report can be read here.

 

Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry

DSM-5 Task Force Ponders Round 2 of Public Feedback

New Diagnostic Manual Still on Track for Publication in 2013

by Deborah Brauser | August 31, 2011

Deborah Brauser is a freelance writer for Medscape

August 31, 2011 — The second public feedback period for the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), ended July 15 and has garnered more than 2000 registered comments.

In an interview with Medscape Medical News, David Kupfer, MD, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) DSM-5 Task Force, said the distribution of comments was “somewhat similar to the first go-round.”

Read full article

Related information

1] DSM-5 Development: http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx

2] DSM-5 Timeline: http://www.dsm5.org/about/Pages/Timeline.aspx

3] “Somatic Symptom Disorders” proposals: http://www.dsm5.org/proposedrevision/Pages/SomaticSymptomDisorders.aspx

4] Published response by the British Psychological Society to the DSM-5 2nd Review of Draft Proposals, June 2011: http://apps.bps.org.uk/_publicationfiles/consultation-responses/DSM-5%202011%20-%20BPS%20response.pdf

5] Response to above from Darrel Regier, MD, Vice-Chair, DSM-5 Task Force, July 2011: http://www.thepsychologist.org.uk/blog/11/blogpost.cfm?threadid=2102&catid=48

Open Letter and Petition to DSM-5 Task Force by Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association)

Open Letter and Petition to DSM-5 Task Force by Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association)

Post #107 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1jI

Update @ January 11, 2012: The third and final draft of proposals for changes to DSM-IV categories and criteria is delayed because field trials and evaluations are running behind schedule and extended to March. The final draft is now expected to be released for public review and comment, “no later than May 2012”, according to DSM-5 Task Force Vice-chair, Darrel Regier, MD [1].

Third review of DSM-5 draft proposals on the horizon

This time last year, folk were mailing me saying – I don’t know why you bother continuing to monitor DSM-5 and ICD-11, XMRV is going to render the DSM-5 proposals meaningless.

Well that was then, and this is now. And in a couple of months’ time we’ll be anticipating the third and final public review and feedback on the APA’s draft proposals for changes to categories and criteria for the revision of DSM-IV.

During the first stakeholder feedback exercise, over 8,600 comments rolled in; during the second comment period (which was extended by an additional four weeks), the Task Force and work groups received over 2000 submissions.

According to the current DSM-5 Timeline:

September-November 2011: Work groups will be provided with results from both field trials and will update their draft criteria as needed. Field trial results and revised proposals will be reviewed at the November Task Force meeting.

January-February 2012: Revised draft diagnostic criteria will be posted on http://www.dsm5.org and open to a third public feedback period for two months. Feedback will be shared directly with work group members, and further edits to proposals will be made as needed.” [1]

According to the DSM-5 Development home page:

“…Following analysis of field trial results, we will revise the proposed criteria as needed and, after appropriate review and approval, we will post these changes on this Web site. At that time, we will again open the site to a third round of comments from visitors, which will be systematically reviewed by each of the work groups for consideration of additional changes. Thus, the current commenting period is not the final opportunity for you to submit feedback, and subsequent revisions to DSM-5 proposals will be jointly informed by field trial findings as well as public commentary…” [2]

Assuming the APA’s schedule remains on target, US and international patient organizations and advocates need to start preparing well in advance of the New Year for how best to engage our own medical and allied professionals in this process and encourage their input.

As soon as DSM-5 Draft 3 is posted on the DSM-5 Development site, I shall put out alerts on my websites, via Co-Cure and on other platforms and I shall be contacting UK patient organizations, as I have done for the previous two public review exercises.

But I hope that other advocates and groups, in the US and internationally, will work to take this forward and ensure that as many international patient organizations, ME and CFS clinicians and researchers, like those who collaborated on the new ME International Consensus Criteria, allied health professionals, medical lawyers, social workers and other end uses of the DSM are made aware of the proposals of the “Somatic Symptom Disorders” Work Group and the implications for ME, CFS, FM, IBS, CI, CS and GWS patient groups, and encouraged to submit comments as professional stakeholders.

 

Open Letter and Petition to DSM-5 Task Force

Today I was alerted to an Open Letter and Petition sponsored by the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association, in alliance with the Society for Community Research and Action: Division of Community Psychology (Division 27 of APA) and the Society for Group Psychology and Psychotherapy (Division 49 of APA) [3]. (No press release, but I’ll update if one is issued.)

These American Psychological Association Divisions are inviting mental health professionals and mental health organizations to sign up in support of an open letter to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 Task Force.

Their response to DSM-5 structure and proposals may be of interest to psychiatrists and psychologists affiliated to, or on the boards of our own ME and CFS patient organizations.

The Open Letter to the DSM-5 Task Force can be read here and a copy is appended:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dsm5/

Under the subheading “New Emphasis on Medico-Physiological Theory”, the Open Letter sponsors comment on some aspects of the DSM-5 proposals for the “Somatic Symptom Disorders” categories. The Open Letter also supports concerns set out within the formal response to DSM-5 draft proposals submitted by the British Psychological Society, earlier this year, and more recent concerns published by the American Counseling Association.

A couple of points: both the American Psychological Association, three of whose Divisions are sponsors of this Open Letter, and the American Psychiatric Association use the acronym “APA”. It is the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 Task Force that is developing the DSM-5.

Secondly, although the first release of the DSM-5 draft proposals did have the diagnosis “Factitious Disorder” placed under “Somatic Symptom Disorders (SSDs)”, the most recent (May 2011) DSM-5 draft proposes placing “Factitious Disorder” under the diagnostic chapter “Other Disorders”, not within the SSDs, as the Open Letter, below, states [4], [5].

Suzy Chapman

[1] DSM-5 Development Timeline: http://www.dsm5.org/about/Pages/Timeline.aspx

[2] DSM Development website: http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx

[3] Society for Humanistic Psychology: http://www.apadivisions.org/division-32/index.aspx

[4] DSM-5 Draft Proposals, Somatic Symptom Disorders: http://www.dsm5.org/proposedrevision/Pages/SomaticSymptomDisorders.aspx

[5] DSM-5 Draft Proposals, Other Disorders: http://www.dsm5.org/proposedrevision/Pages/OtherDisorders.aspx


The Open Letter and Petition can be read here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dsm5/

There’s also a copy on the blog of  Society for Humanistic Psychology

Sponsor

Society for Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association, in alliance with Society for Community Research and Action: Division of Community Psychology (Division 27 of APA) and Society for Group Psychology and Psychotherapy (Division 49 of APA). We invite mental health professionals and mental health organizations to sign on in support of this petition to the DSM5 Task Force of the American Psychiatric Association

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

As you are aware, the DSM is a central component of the research, education, and practice of most licensed psychologists in the United States. Psychologists are not only consumers and utilizers of the manual, but we are also producers of seminal research on DSM-defined disorder categories and their empirical correlates. Practicing psychologists in both private and public service utilize the DSM to conceptualize, communicate, and support their clinical work.

For these reasons, we believe that the development and revision of DSM diagnoses should include the contribution of psychologists, not only as select individuals on a committee, but as a professional community. We have therefore decided to offer the below response to DSM-5 development. This document was composed in recognition of, and with sensitivity to, the longstanding and congenial relationship between American psychologists and our psychiatrist colleagues.

Overview

Though we admire various efforts of the DSM-5 Task Force, especially efforts to update the manual according to new empirical research, we have substantial reservations about a number of the proposed changes that are presented on www.dsm5.org. As we will detail below, we are concerned about the lowering of diagnostic thresholds for multiple disorder categories, about the introduction of disorders that may lead to inappropriate medical treatment of vulnerable populations, and about specific proposals that appear to lack empirical grounding. In addition, we question proposed changes to the definition(s) of mental disorder that deemphasize sociocultural variation while placing more emphasis on biological theory. In light of the growing empirical evidence that neurobiology does not fully account for the emergence of mental distress, as well as new longitudinal studies revealing long-term hazards of standard neurobiological (psychotropic) treatment, we believe that these changes pose substantial risks to patients/clients, practitioners, and the mental health professions in general.

Given the changes currently taking place in the profession and science of psychiatry, as well as the developing empirical landscape from which psychiatric knowledge is drawn, we believe that it is important to make our opinions known at this particular historical moment. As stated at the conclusion of this letter, we believe that it is time for psychiatry and psychology collaboratively to explore the possibility of developing an alternative approach to the conceptualization of emotional distress. We believe that the risks posed by DSM-5, as outlined below, only highlight the need for a descriptive and empirical approach that is unencumbered by previous deductive and theoretical models.

In more detail, our response to DSM-5 is as follows:

Advances Made by the DSM-5 Task Force

We applaud certain efforts of the DSM-5 Task Force, most notably efforts to resolve the widening gap between the current manual and the growing body of scientific knowledge on psychological distress. In particular, we appreciate the efforts of the Task Force to address limitations to the validity of the current categorical system, including the high rates of comorbidity and Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) diagnoses, as well as the taxonomic failure to establish ‘zones of rarity’ between purported disorder entities (Kendell & Jablensky, 2003). We agree with the APA/DSM-5 Task Force statement that, from a systemic perspective,

The DSM-III categorical diagnoses with operational criteria were a major advance for our field, but they are now holding us back because the system has not kept up with current thinking. Clinicians complain that the current DSM-IV system poorly reflects the clinical realities of their patients. Researchers are skeptical that the existing DSM categories represent a valid basis for scientific investigations, and accumulating evidence supports this skepticism. (Schatzberg, Scully, Kupfer, & Regier, 2009)

As researchers and clinicians, we appreciate the attempt to address these problems. However, we have serious reservations about the proposed means for doing so. Again, we are concerned about the potential consequences of the new manual for patients and consumers; for psychiatrists, psychologists, and other practitioners; and for forensics, health insurance practice, and public policy. Our specific reservations are as follows:

Lowering of Diagnostic Thresholds

The proposal to lower diagnostic thresholds is scientifically premature and holds numerous risks. Diagnostic sensitivity is particularly important given the established limitations and side-effects of popular antipsychotic medications. Increasing the number of people who qualify for a diagnosis may lead to excessive medicalization and stigmatization of transitive, even normative distress. As suggested by the Chair of DSM-IV Task Force Allen Frances (2010), among others, the lowering of diagnostic thresholds poses the epidemiological risk of triggering false-positive epidemics.

We are particularly concerned about:

“Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome,” which describes experiences common in the general population, and which was developed from a “risk” concept with strikingly low predictive validity for conversion to full psychosis.

• The proposed removal of Major Depressive Disorder’s bereavement exclusion, which currently prevents the pathologization of grief, a normal life process.

• The reduction in the number of criteria necessary for the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder, a diagnosis that is already subject to epidemiological inflation.

• The reduction in symptomatic duration and the number of necessary criteria for the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Though we also have faith in the perspicacity of clinicians, we believe that expertise in clinical decision-making is not ubiquitous amongst practitioners and, more importantly, cannot prevent epidemiological trends that arise from societal and institutional processes. We believe that the protection of society, including the prevention of false epidemics, should be prioritized above nomenclatural exploration.

Vulnerable Populations

We are also gravely concerned about the introduction of disorder categories that risk misuse in particularly vulnerable populations. For example, Mild Neurocognitive Disorder might be diagnosed in elderly with expected cognitive decline, especially in memory functions. Additionally, children and adolescents will be particularly susceptible to receiving a diagnosis of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder or Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome. Neither of these newly proposed disorders have a solid basis in the clinical research literature, and both may result in treatment with neuroleptics, which, as growing evidence suggests, have particularly dangerous side-effects (see below)—as well as a history of inappropriate prescriptions to vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly

Sociocultural Variation

The DSM-5 has proposed to change the Definition of a Mental Disorder such that DSM-IV’s Feature E: “Neither deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual,” will instead read “[A mental disorder is a behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern] [t]hat is not primarily a result of social deviance or conflicts with society.” The latter version fails to explicitly state that deviant behavior and primary conflicts between the individual and society are not mental disorders. Instead, the new proposal focuses on whether mental disorder is a “result” of deviance/social conflicts. Taken literally, DSM-5’s version suggests that mental disorder may be the result of these factors so long as they are not “primarily” the cause. In other words, this change will require the clinician to draw on subjective etiological theory to make a judgment about the cause of presenting problems. It will further require the clinician to make a hierarchical decision about the primacy of these causal factors, which will then (partially) determine whether mental disorder is said to be present. Given lack of consensus as to the “primary” causes of mental distress, this proposed change may result in the labeling of sociopolitical deviance as mental disorder.

Revisions to Existing Disorder Groupings

Several new proposals with little empirical basis also warrant hesitation:

• As mentioned above, Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) have questionable diagnostic validity, and the research on these purported disorders is relatively recent and sparse.

• The proposed overhaul of the Personality Disorders is perplexing. It appears to be a complex and idiosyncratic combined categorical-dimensional system that is only loosely based on extant scientific research. It is particularly concerning that a member of the Personality Disorders Workgroup has publicly described the proposals as “a disappointing and confusing mixture of innovation and preservation of the status quo that is inconsistent, lacks coherence, is impractical, and, in places, is incompatible with empirical facts” (Livesley, 2010), and that, similarly, Chair of DSM-III Task Force Robert Spitzer has stated that, of all of the problematic proposals, “Probably the most problematic is the revision of personality disorders, where they’ve made major changes; and the changes are not all supported by any empirical basis.”

• The Conditions Proposed by Outside Sources that are under consideration for DSM-5 contain several unsubstantiated and questionable disorder categories. For example, “Apathy Syndrome,” “Internet Addiction Disorder,” and “Parental Alienation Syndrome” have virtually no basis in the empirical literature.

New Emphasis on Medico-Physiological Theory

Advances in neuroscience, genetics, and psychophysiology have greatly enhanced our understanding of psychological distress. The neurobiological revolution has been incredibly useful in conceptualizing the conditions with which we work. Yet, even after “the decade of the brain,” not one biological marker (“biomarker”) can reliably substantiate a DSM diagnostic category. In addition, empirical studies of etiology are often inconclusive, at best pointing to a diathesis-stress model with multiple (and multifactorial) determinants and correlates. Despite this fact, proposed changes to certain DSM-5 disorder categories and to the general definition of mental disorder subtly accentuate biological theory. In the absence of compelling evidence, we are concerned that these reconceptualizations of mental disorder as primarily medical phenomena may have scientific, socioeconomic, and forensic consequences. New emphasis on biological theory can be found in the following DSM-5 proposals:

• The first of DSM-5’s proposed revisions to the Definition of a Mental Disorder transforms DSM-IV’s versatile Criterion D: “A manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual” into a newly collapsed Criterion B: [A behavioral or psychological syndrome] “That reflects an underlying psychobiological dysfunction.” The new definition states that all mental disorders represent underlying biological dysfunction. We believe that there is insufficient empirical evidence for this claim.

• The change in Criterion H under “Other Considerations” for the Definition of a Mental Disorder adds a comparison between medical disorders and mental disorders with no discussion of the differences between the two. Specifically, the qualifying phrase “No definition adequately specifies precise boundaries for the concept of ‘mental disorder” was changed to “No definition perfectly specifies precise boundaries for the concept of either ’medical disorder’ or ‘mental/psychiatric disorder’.” This effectively transforms a statement meant to clarify the conceptual limitations of mental disorder into a statement equating medical and mental phenomena.

• We are puzzled by the proposals to “De-emphasize medically unexplained symptoms” in Somatic Symptom Disorders (SSDs) and to reclassify Factitious Disorder as an SSD. The SSD Workgroup explains: “…because of the implicit mind-body dualism and the unreliability of assessments of ‘medically unexplained symptoms,’ these symptoms are no longer emphasized as core features of many of these disorders.” We do not agree that hypothesizing a medical explanation for these symptoms will resolve the philosophical problem of Cartesian dualism inherent in the concept of “mental illness.” Further, merging the medico-physical with the psychological eradicates the conceptual and historical basis for somatoform phenomena, which are by definition somatic symptoms that are not traceable to known medical conditions. Though such a redefinition may appear to lend these symptoms a solid medico-physiological foundation, we believe that the lack of empirical evidence for this foundation may lead to practitioner confusion, as might the stated comparison between these disorders and research on cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases.

• The proposed reclassification of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) from Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence to the new grouping “Neurodevelopmental Disorders” seems to suggests that that ADHD has a definitive neurological basis. This change, in combination with the proposal to lower the diagnostic threshold for this category as described above, poses high risk of exacerbating the extant over-medicalization and over-diagnosis of this disorder category.

• A recent publication by the Task Force, The Conceptual Evolution of DSM-5 (Regier, Narrow, Kuhl, & Kupfer, 2011), states that the primary goal of DSM-5 is “to produce diagnostic criteria and disorder categories that keep pace with advances in neuroscience.” We believe that the primary goal of DSM-5 should be to keep pace with advances in all types of empirical knowledge (e.g., psychological, social, cultural, etc.).

Taken together, these proposed changes seem to depart from DSM’s 30-year “atheoretical” stance in favor of a pathophysiological model. This move appears to overlook growing disenchantment with strict neurobiological theories of mental disorder (e.g., “chemical imbalance” theories such as the dopamine theory of schizophrenia and the serotonin theory of depression), as well as the general failure of the neo-Kraepelinian model for validating psychiatric illness. Or in the words of the Task Force:

“…epidemiological, neurobiological, cross-cultural, and basic behavioral research conducted since DSM-IV has suggested that demonstrating construct validity for many of these strict diagnostic categories (as envisioned most notably by Robins and Guze) will remain an elusive goal” (Kendler, Kupfer, Narrow, Phillips, & Fawcett, 2009, p. 1).

We thus believe that a move towards biological theory directly contradicts evidence that psychopathology, unlike medical pathology, cannot be reduced to pathognomonic physiological signs or even multiple biomarkers. Further, growing evidence suggests that though psychotropic medications do not necessarily correct putative chemical imbalances, they do pose substantial iatrogenic hazards. For example, the increasingly popular neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medications, though helpful for many people in the short term, pose the long-term risks of obesity, diabetes, movement disorders, cognitive decline, worsening of psychotic symptoms, reduction in brain volume, and shortened lifespan (Ho, Andreasen, Ziebell, Pierson, & Magnotta, 2011; Whitaker, 2002, 2010). Indeed, though neurobiology may not fully explain the etiology of DSM-defined disorders, mounting longitudinal evidence suggests that the brain is dramatically altered over the course of psychiatric treatment.

Conclusions

In sum, we have serious reservations about the proposed content of the future DSM-5, as we believe that the new proposals pose the risk of exacerbating longstanding problems with the current system. Many of our reservations, including some of the problems described above, have already been articulated in the formal response to DSM-5 issued by the British Psychological Society (BPS, 2011) and in the email communication of the American Counseling Association (ACA) to Allen Frances (Frances, 2011b).

In light of the above-listed reservations concerning DSM-5’s proposed changes, we hereby voice agreement with BPS that:

• “…clients and the general public are negatively affected by the continued and continuous medicalization of their natural and normal responses to their experiences; responses which undoubtedly have distressing consequences which demand helping responses, but which do not reflect illnesses so much as normal individual variation.”

• “The putative diagnoses presented in DSM-V are clearly based largely on social norms, with ‘symptoms’ that all rely on subjective judgments, with little confirmatory physical ‘signs’ or evidence of biological causation. The criteria are not value-free, but rather reflect current normative social expectations.”

• “… [taxonomic] systems such as this are based on identifying problems as located within individuals. This misses the relational context of problems and the undeniable social causation of many such problems.”

• There is a need for “a revision of the way mental distress is thought about, starting with recognition of the overwhelming evidence that it is on a spectrum with ‘normal’ experience” and the fact that strongly evidenced causal factors include “psychosocial factors such as poverty, unemployment and trauma.”

• An ideal empirical system for classification would not be based on past theory but rather would “ begin from the bottom up – starting with specific experiences, problems or ‘symptoms’ or ‘complaints’.”

The present DSM-5 development period may provide a unique opportunity to address these dilemmas, especially given the Task Force’s willingness to reconceptualize the general architecture of psychiatric taxonomy. However, we believe that the proposals presented on www.dsm5.org are more likely to exacerbate rather than mitigate these longstanding problems. We share BPS’s hopes for a more inductive, descriptive approach in the future, and we join BPS in offering participation and guidance in the revision process.

References

American Psychiatric Association (2011). DSM-5 Development. Retrieved from http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx

British Psychological Society. (2011) Response to the American Psychiatric Association: DSM-5 development.
Retrieved from http://apps.bps.org.uk/_publicationfiles/consultation-responses/DSM-5%202011%20-%20BPS%20response.pdf

Compton, M. T. (2008). Advances in the early detection and prevention of schizophrenia.
Medscape Psychiatry & Mental Health. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/575910

Frances, A. (2010). The first draft of DSM-V. BMJ. Retrieved from http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c1168.full

Frances, A. (2011a). DSM-5 approves new fad diagnosis for child psychiatry: Antipsychotic use
likely to rise. Psychiatric Times. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/display/article/10168/1912195

Frances, A. (2011b). Who needs DSM-5? A strong warning comes from professional counselors
[Web log message]. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201106/who-needs-dsm-5

Hanssen, M., Bak, M., Bijl, R., Vollebergh, W., & van Os, J. (2005). The incidence and outcome of subclinical psychotic experiences in the general population. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 181-191.

Ho, B-C., Andreasen, N. C., Ziebell, S., Pierson, R., & Magnotta, V. (2011). Long-term antipsychotic treatment and brain volumes. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 128-137.

Johns, L. C., & van Os, J. (2001). The continuity of psychotic experiences in the general population. Clinical Psychology Review, 21, 1125-1141.

Kendell, R., & Jablensky, A. (2003). Distinguishing between the validity and utility of psychiatric diagnoses. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 4-11.

Kendler, K., Kupfer, D., Narrow, W., Phillips, K., & Fawcett, J. (2009, October 21). Guidelines
for making changes to DSM-V. Retrieved August 30, 2011, from
http://www.dsm5.org/ProgressReports/Documents/Guidelines-for-Making-Changes-to-DSM_1.pdf

Livesley, W. J. (2010). Confusion and incoherence in the classification of Personality Disorder: Commentary on the preliminary proposals for DSM-5. Psychological Injury and Law, 3, 304-313.

Moran, M. (2009). DSM-V developers weigh adding psychosis risk. Psychiatric News Online.
Retrieved from http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/44/16/5.1.full

Regier, D. A., Narrow, W. E., Kuhl, E. A., & Kupfer, D. J. (2011). The conceptual evolution of DSM-5. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Schatzberg, A. F., Scully, J. H., Kupfer, D. J., & Regier, D. A. (2009). Setting the record straight: A response to Frances commentary on DSM-V. Psychiatric Times, 26. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/dsm/content/article/10168/1425806

Whitaker, R. (2002). Mad in America. Cambridge, MA: Basic Books. Also see http://www.madinamerica.com/madinamerica.com/Schizophrenia.html

Whitaker, R. (2010). Anatomy of an epidemic. New York, NY: Random House.

%d bloggers like this: