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

Post #309 Shortlink:

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:

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:


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:


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:

Below is my own submission to NCHS in PDF

Click link for PDF document   NCHS Submission Chapman June 14

and as text:


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.


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.


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:


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).



Reminder: Next meeting of ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee: March 19-20, 2014

Post #290 Shortlink:

Update at February 15, 2014:

Tentative diagnosis agenda posted for March 19–20, 2014 meeting on CDC site:

This list of tentative diagnosis agenda topics is not final. The final topics material will be available electronically from the NCHS web site prior to the meeting.

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person there will be conference lines available on the day of the meeting. Individuals do not need to register on line for the meeting if planning to dial in.

NCHS/CMS will be broadcasting the meeting live via Webcast at:

The next meeting of the ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee is scheduled for March 19–20, 2014. If you are planning to attend the meeting in person you will need to register, online, by March 14.

ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting

Public forum to discuss proposed changes to ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 – Thursday, March 2o, 2014

CMS Auditorium, Baltimore, MD

Agendas for the meeting will be posted in February 2014.

If phone lines and live webinar are made available the information will be posted closer to the meeting date.

Day One | Time: 03/19/2014 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CMS Auditorium

Session: ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting
The first day of the meeting, March 19, 2014, will be devoted to procedure code issues.

Day Two | Time: 03/20/2014 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM CMS Auditorium

Session: ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee Meeting
The second day of the meeting, March 20, 2014 will be devoted to diagnosis code topics.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are the U.S. governmental agencies responsible for overseeing all changes and modifications to the ICD-9-CM and draft ICD-10-CM/PCS.

NCHS is also responsible for the development of ICD-10-CM, adapted from the WHO’s ICD-10 for U.S. specific use.

The 2014 release of the draft ICD-10-CM (which replaces the July 2013 release) can be viewed or downloaded here.

ICD-10-CM is scheduled for implementation on October 1, 2014. Until that time the codes in ICD-10-CM are not valid for any purpose or use.

New concepts are added to ICD-10-CM based on the established update process for ICD-9-CM (the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee) and the World Health Organization’s ICD-10 (the Update and Revision Committee).

Meetings of the Coordination and Maintenance Committee are co-chaired by a representative from NCHS and from CMS. Responsibility for  maintenance of the ICD-9-CM is divided between these two agencies, with classification of diagnoses by NCHS and procedures by CMS.

The name of the Committee will change to the ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee with the March meeting, as the last updates to ICD-9-CM/PCS took place on October 1, 2013.

Meetings are held twice yearly, in public, at CMS headquarters in Baltimore, MD. The next meeting is scheduled for March 19–20, 2014. The fall meeting is scheduled for September 23–24, 2014.


Coordination and Maintenance Committee

The Committee provides a public forum to discuss proposed modifications, code changes, updates and corrections to the diagnosis codes in ICD-10-CM and procedural codes in ICD-10-PCS.

Public participation can also take place via phone conference link and live webinar. (Details for both in the Agenda documents.)

Agendas are posted approximately one month prior to the meetings. Diagnostic and procedural proposal Topic Packets, meeting materials, hand outs and presentation slides are posted on the CDC and CMS websites shortly before a meeting.

Up until 2011, transcripts of meeting proceedings were provided. Provision of transcripts is now replaced with videocasts for the full, two-day proceedings, available from the CMS website and posted on YouTube, and a brief Meeting Summary report, available from the CDC site shortly after the meeting.

For attendance in person, prior registration is required, via the CMS meeting registration website. Registration opens approximately one month  prior to a meeting and closes a few days before Day One of a meeting.


Proposals for modifications, additions, corrections

Suggestions for modifications to ICD-10-CM/PCS come from both the public and private sectors. Since the draft ICD-10-CM is adapted from the WHO’s ICD-10, which is subject to an annual update process, some proposed modifications to ICD-10-CM may reflect updates to the ICD-10.

Interested parties (requestors) must submit proposals for modifications prior to a scheduled meeting and by a specific date. Proposals should be consistent with the structure and conventions of the classification. See Submission of Proposals for submission requirements and proposal samples.

Once proposals have been reviewed, requestors are contacted as to whether their proposal has been approved for presentation at the next Coordination and  Maintenance Committee meeting or not.

Approved proposals are presented at the meetings by representatives for professional bodies, advocacy organizations, clinicians, other professional stakeholders or members of the public with an interest, or are sometimes presented by an NCHS/CMS representative on behalf of a requestor.

No decisions on proposed modifications are made at the meetings. Recommendations and comments are reviewed and evaluated, once the comment period has closed, before final decisions are made.

The Coordination and Maintenance Committee’s role is advisory. All final decisions are made by the Director of NCHS and Administrator of CMS.

Final decisions are made at the end of the year and become effective October 1 of the following year.


Submitting written comment on proposals presented at meetings

Comments on proposals are invited, at the meeting, at the end of each presentation, or may be submitted in writing following the meeting, during a one to two month duration public comment period.

Addresses for submitting comments are included in the Agenda Topic Packets published before the meetings. NCHS/CMS state that electronic submissions are greatly preferred over snail mail in order to ensure timely receipt of responses.


Partial code freeze and timing of proposals

According to the Summary of Diagnosis Presentations for the September 18–19, 2013 meeting (for which the comment period closed on November 15):

“Except where noted, all topics are being considered for implementation on October 1, 2015. The addenda items are being considered for implementation prior to October 1, 2014.”

(“ICD-10-CM TABULAR OF DISEASES – PROPOSED ADDENDA” Tabular and Index modification proposals are set out on Diagnosis Agenda Pages 60-66.)

Note that some proposals in the Diagnosis Agenda were requested for insertion in October 2014 as Inclusion Terms to existing codes, with new codes proposed to be created for October 2015, notably, the 6 proposals to insert new DSM-5 disorders into ICD-10-CM presented by Darrel Regier, MD, on behalf of the American Psychiatric Association (Diagnosis Agenda Pages 32-44).

Whether the 17 modifications proposed on Pages 45-46 under “Additional Tabular List Inclusion Terms for ICD-10-CM” which were presented en masse by CDC’s, Donna Pickett, (which include the proposals to add the new DSM-5 “Somatic symptom disorder” and “Illness anxiety disorder” as Inclusion Terms to existing ICD-10-CM F45.x codes) are intended for implementation in October 2014 or in October 2015 is not explicit in the Diagnosis Agenda.

For the September 18–19, 2013 meeting, when submitting written comments, responders were asked to consider the following:

Whether they agree with a proposal, disagree (and why), or have an alternative proposal to suggest. But were also invited to comment on the timing of those proposals that were being requested for approval for October 2014:

Does a request for a new diagnosis or procedure code meet the criteria for implementation in October 2014 during a partial code freeze* based on the criteria of the need to capture a new technology or disease; or should consideration for approval be deferred to October 2015? And separately, to comment on the creation of a specific new code for the condition effective from October 1, 2015 (where requested).

Any code requests that do not meet the criteria [for inclusion during a partial freeze] will be evaluated for implementation within ICD-10-CM on and after October 1, 2015 once the partial freeze has ended and regular (at least annual) updates to ICD-10-CM/PCS resume.

*Partial Code Freeze of Revisions to ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS

  • October  1, 2011 is the last major update of ICD-9-CM. Any further revisions to ICD-9-CM will only be  for a new disease and/or a  procedure  representing new technology.  Revisions will  be posted on this website as addenda (revisions to procedures are posted on  the CMS website).
  • After  October 1, 2011 there will be no further release of ICD-9-CM on CD-ROM.
  • October  1, 2011 is the last major update of ICD-10-CM/PCS until October 1, 2015.
  • Between  October 1, 2011 and October 1, 2015 revisions to ICD-10-CM/PCS will be for new  diseases/new technology procedures, and any minor revisions to correct reported errors in these classifications.
  • Regular (at least annual) updates to ICD-10-CM/PCS will resume on October 1, 2015.

Public comments not made public

Note that written public comments received by NCHS (Diagnosis) and CMS (Procedural) on proposals requested via these meetings are not aggregated and made publicly accessible. Nor are the names of organizations, professional bodies, individuals or others who have submitted comments listed publicly. It is not possible to scrutinize the number, provenance or substance of the comments received in support of, or in opposition to requests for modifications to ICD-10-CM presented via these meetings. Nor are NCHS/CMS’s rationales for the approval or rejection of requests for modifications to diagnosis or procedural codes on public record.


September 18–19, 2013 meeting

A substantial number of modifications were proposed via the September 2013 meeting for both procedural and diagnosis codes. These are set out in the Agenda/Topic Packet PDF documents:

Diagnosis Codes Agenda

Procedural Codes Agenda

Meeting Materials

Videocasts for full two day meeting proceedings and Meeting Materials (collated on Dx Revision Watch site)

Summary of Diagnosis Presentations 

The ICD-9-CM timeline (for the remainder of its life) and the ICD-10-CM/PCS timeline are set out on Pages 3-8 of the Diagnosis Agenda.


Key dates for the forthcoming March 19–20, 2014 meeting

January 17, 2014: deadline for submitting topics to be discussed at the March 19–20, 2014 ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee (reached).

February 14: registration for attendance opens.

March 14: deadline for registration.

Go here for registration details. (CMS confirmed to me via email on 01.23.13 that the deadline for registration is March 14, not February 14, as incorrectly published in the Diagnosis Agenda timeline.)

April 18, 2014: deadline for receipt of public comments on proposed codes and modifications tabled for March meeting. (Note there is only a 4 week period following this meeting during which written comments can be submitted.)


Key ICD-10-CM/PCS Timeline dates extracted from full timeline, Pages 3-8, September 18-19, 2013 Diagnosis Agenda

March 19–20, 2014: ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting.

April 1, 2014: There will be no new ICD-9-CM codes to capture new diseases or technology on April 1, 2014, since the last updates to ICD-9-CM will take place on October 1, 2013.

April 2014: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to be published in the Federal Register as mandated by Public Law 99-509. This notice will include references to the complete and finalized FY 2015 ICD-10-CM diagnosis and ICD-10-PCS procedure codes. It will also include proposed revisions to the MS-DRG system based on ICD-10-CM/PCS codes on which the public may comment. The proposed rule can be accessed at:

April 18, 2014: Deadline for receipt of public comments on proposed code [at March meeting.]

June 2014: Final addendum posted on web pages as follows:

Diagnosis addendum

Procedure addendum

September 23–24, 2014: ICD-10-CM/PCS Coordination and Maintenance Committee 2014 meeting.

October 1, 2014: New and revised ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes go into effect along with DRG changes. Final addendum posted on web pages as follows:

Diagnosis addendum

Procedure addendum

November 2014: Any new ICD-10 codes required to capture new technology that will be implemented on the following April 1 will be announced. Information on any new codes to be implemented April 1, 2015 will be posted on the following websites:

DSM-5 Round up: February #1

DSM-5 Round up: February #1

Post #225 Shortlink:

Update: More recent coverage:

The first in a series of three commentaries by Allen Frances, MD, on the Somatic Symptoms Disorder issue has received over 25,000 page views on Psychology Today, alone. It was also published at Huffington Post and on “Education Update,” and now also at Psychiatric Times.

Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder

Allen Frances, MD | February 13, 2013

Fox Health News

A psychiatrist’s take on the DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder diagnosis, Dr Keith Ablow, for Fox News Health:

Does somatic symptom disorder really exist?

Keith Ablow, MD |  for Fox News Health | February 14, 2013

Currents An interactive newsletter of NASW-WA

(Washington State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is a membership organization.)

DSM 5 Changes

DSM-5: A Summary of Proposed Changes

Carlton E. Munson, PhD, LCSW-C | February 12, 2013

The Health Care Blog

Mislabeling Medical Illness

Allen Frances, MD | February 12, 2013

Huffington Post Blogger

Bruce E. Levine
Practicing clinical psychologist, writer

DSM-5: Science or Dogma? Even Some Establishment Psychiatrists Embarrassed by Newest Diagnostic Bible

Bruce E. Levine | February 10, 2013

Earlier coverage:

Huffington Post

DSM-5: Science or Dogma? Even Some Establishment Psychiatrists Embarrassed by Newest Diagnostic Bible

Bruce E. Levine | February 10, 2013

Practicing clinical psychologist, writer


DIE WELT/Worldcrunch All news is global

Translated (and possibly abridged) from original article in German

Worldcrunch All news is global

Psychiatrists Not Crazy About The Revised Manual Of Mental Disorders

Fanny Jiménez and Christiane Löll | February 5, 2013


Allen Frances, MD, now blogs at Saving Normal.

Archive posts at DSM 5 in Distress will remain accessible and open for new comments.

Saving Normal
Mental health and what is normal.
by Allen Frances, M.D.

DSM 5 Boycotts and Petitions
Too many, too sectarian

Allen Frances, MD | February 8, 2013

There are already about a dozen different DSM 5 petitions and boycotts out there. This is completely understandable – there is lots in DSM 5 to be angry at or frightened about.

Unfortunately, though, this is not a case of more the merrier. Fragmentation into a number of small protests will greatly reduce their aggregate impact…


David J. Kupfer, MD, chairs the DSM-5 Task Force. On February 8, Dr Kupfer published in defence of the SSD construct on Huffington Post. Part Three in the Allen Frances and Suzy Chapman series of commentaries on the SSD criteria was published earlier, last week, Saving Normal on Psychology Today:

Huffington Post

David J. Kupfer, M.D.
Chair, DSM-5 Task Force

Somatic Symptoms Criteria in DSM-5 Improve Diagnosis, Care

David J. Kupfer, MD | February 8, 2013

While the goal of the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is clear, accurate criteria for diagnosing mental disorders, the motivation behind the book’s revision was the improvement of diagnosis and clinical care. Somatoform disorders are one area where definitive progress was made.

Somatoform disorders are characterized by symptoms suggesting physical illness or injury, but which may not be fully explained by a general medical condition, another mental disorder, or by medication or substance side effects. The symptoms are either very distressing or result in significant disruption of an individual’s ability to function in daily life. People suffering from somatoform disorders are often initially seen in general medical settings as opposed to psychiatric settings…

This new post from Christopher Lane on the DSM-5 ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ controversy has been designated a Psychology Today “Essential Read” editor pick:

Side Effects
From quirky to serious, trends in psychology and psychiatry
by Christopher Lane, Ph.D.

DSM-5 Has Gone to Press Containing a Major Scientific Gaffe
The APA declined to correct the error, despite multiple warnings.

Christopher Lane, PhD | February 8, 2013

When DSM-5 is published three months from now, in the middle of May, it will contain at least one major scientific gaffe. The Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association voted to include a definition of Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) so broad and over-inclusive that it is certain to include medical patients with an outsized concern about their health, as well as those who are merely vigilant in trying to maintain it…

Lightweight feature in UK Times Magazine, Saturday, February 9, 2013:

The Asperger’s effect

Louise Carpenter | February 9 2013

Once it was a taboo. Now, in Silicon Valley, it’s almost a job qualification. So has the diagnosis lost its stigma, wonders Louise Carpenter…


Article on mental health diagnosis and DSM-5 co-authored by Dr Raj Persaud, Consultant Psychiatrist, and Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Professor of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.

DSM-5 and the future of psychiatry
Did 2012 prove that psychiatric disease doesn’t exist?

From 1.2.2013

At the end of this article is a link to a forthcoming CPD Certified conference at the Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry, June 4-5, 2013:


DSM-5 and the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Where is the roadmap taking us?

A two day international conference following the publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will take place at the Institute of Psychiatry on the 4th and 5th of June 2013.

Mental health practitioners and researchers around the world anticipate the DSM-5 that is due to published by the American Psychiatric Association within the first few months of 2013.

Discussions about the DSM-5 have stretched well beyond the world of academic psychiatry having become a matter of intense public interest and media coverage.

The aim of this conference is to have a rigorous and comprehensive discussion of the clinical, research, and public health implications of the DSM-5. The perspective is international and speakers will include top scientists, key policy makers, patient representatives, and front-line clinicians.

Speakers include:

Professor David Kupfer, Head of DSM-5 Planning Committee and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh

Professor William Carpenter, DSM-5 Task Force Member and Professor at the University of Maryland

Professor David Clark, Professor of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford

Dr Clare Gerada, General Practitioner and Chair of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners

Professor Catherine Lord, Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain and Professor at the University of Michigan

Professor Vikram Patel, Professor of International Mental Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor Nikolas Rose, Head of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, Kings College London

Sir Michael Rutter, First Professor of child psychiatry in the UK and Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Kings College London

Professor Norman Sartorius, Former director of the World Health Organization’s Division of Mental Health, and a former president of the World Psychiatric Association

Price: £350 (including lunches and an evening reception)


* Tuesday 4th June | 09:45- 17:30 (evening reception to follow)

* Wednesday 5th June | 09:45 – 17:15

Venue: Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry

This event is CPD Certified

American Psychiatric Association launches new pages for DSM-5 – DSM-5 to cost $199

American Psychiatric Association (APA) launches new pages for DSM-5 – DSM-5 to cost $199

Post #220 Shortlink:

Unless you’ve had your head stuck in a bucket this last three years, you’ll be aware that the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual is slated for release this May.

APA has spent $25 million on the development of DSM-5.

DSM-5 will be published by American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. and planned for release at the APA’s 166th Annual Meeting in San Francisco (May 18-22).

A hardback copy is going to set you back $199, though paid up members of the American Psychiatric Association are being offered a discount.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, primary health care physicians, therapists, counselors, social workers and allied health professionals don’t have to use DSM-5.

Instead, when codes are required they can use the codes in Chapter 5 of ICD-9-CM (Mental Disorders) and Chapter 5 of ICD-10-CM (Mental, Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental disorders), when ICD-10-CM is implemented*.

*Effective implementation date for ICD-10-CM (and ICD-10-PCS) is currently October 1, 2014. Until that time the codes in ICD-10-CM are not valid for any purpose or use.

Image Copyright Dx Revision Watch 2013

Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Use ICD codes instead.

Since 2003, ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes have been mandated for third-party billing and reporting by HIPAA for all electronic transactions for billing and reimbursement. The codes in DSM are crosswalked to ICD codes.

So you can use ICD-9-CM codes.

And when ICD-10-CM is implemented, it isn’t going to cost you a cent – it will be freely available on the internet.

The ICD-10-CM draft, currently subject to partial code freeze, and its associated documentation can be accessed here on the CDC site; so you can already have a poke around:

International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)

On January 23, Allen Frances, MD, who had oversight of the Task Force that developed DSM-IV had this to say about the $199 manual:

Price Gouging: Why Will DSM-5 Cost $199 a Copy?


APA launches new pages for DSM-5

Last week the APA launched new pages to promote DSM-5.

Report by John Gever for Medpage Today:

Psych Group Posts Glimpses of Final DSM-5

John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today | January 21, 2013

Peeks into the final DSM-5, the controversial new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, are now available from the group prior to the guide’s official May 22 debut…

PR piece by Mark Moran for Psychiatric News, organ of the American Psychiatric Association:

Psychiatric News | January 18, 2013
Volume 48 Number 2 page 1-6
American Psychiatric Association
Professional News

Continuity and Changes Mark New Text of DSM-5

Mark Moran

The DSM-5 Task Force chair discusses conceptual themes driving changes to the new manual. This is the first in a series continuing through May that will summarize the diagnostic and organizational differences between DSM-IV and DSM-5.

DSM-5, approved by the APA Board of Trustees in December, reflects the “state of the clinical science” in psychiatric diagnosis, incorporating important findings from genetic, neurobiological, and treatment research, while also maintaining substantial continuity for maximum clinical utility…

Go here for the DSM-5 Collection.

Psychiatric News Alert, where those not intending to boycott DSM-5 are encouraged to explore and pre-order a copy ($199):

Psychiatric News Alert

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New DSM-5 Series Includes Supplementary Information; Order Your Manual Now!

The new DSM-5 pages can be found here, with articles, fact sheets and videos:

Documents include:

DSM-5 Table of Contents  [Lists disorder sections and the categories that sit under them.]

Changes to DSM-5

Continuity and Changes Mark New Text of DSM-5, Psychiatric News, January 18, 2013

Highlights of Changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5
DSM-5 Provides New Take on Developmental Disorders, Psychiatric News, January 18, 2013

DSM-5 Fact Sheets

From Planning to Publication: Developing DSM-5
The People Behind DSM-5
The Organization of DSM-5

Making a Case for New Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Specific Learning Disorder
Intellectual Disability
Social Communication Disorder
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

DSM-5 Video Series

How and why was DSM-5 developed?
What has been the goal for revising DSM-5?

What are the changes to autism spectrum disorder in DSM-5?
What will be the impact of DSM-5 changes to autism spectrum disorder?
What are the changes to learning disorder in DSM-5?
What will be the impact of the revised specific learning disorder diagnosis?

The APA’s DSM-5 Development site can still be found here DSM-5 Development.

Proposals for changes to DSM-IV categories and criteria, as they had stood at the third draft, were frozen on June 15, 2012.

Any revisions made to criteria sets following closure of the third and final comment period are subject to embargo and the DSM-5 Development site has not been updated to reflect changes made to categories and criteria beyond June 15.

The entire third draft of proposals was removed from the DSM-5 Development site on November 15.

You can read APA’s rationale for removing the draft on an updated Permissions, Licensing & Reprints page.

DSM-5 Round up: January #2

DSM-5 Round up: January #2

Post #220 Shortlink:

Round up of recent media coverage of DSM-5 issues from US and UK spanning January 18 to January 28:

Scientific American

The Newest Edition of Psychiatry’s “Bible,” the DSM-5, Is Complete

The APA has finished revising the DSM and will publish the manual’s fifth edition in May 2013. Here’s what to expect

Ferris Jabr | January 28, 2013

For more than 11 years, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has been laboring to revise the current version of its best-selling guidebook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (see “Psychiatry’s Bible Gets an Overhaul” in Scientific American MIND). Although the DSM is often called the bible of psychiatry, it is not sacred scripture to all clinicians—many regard it more as a helpful corollary to their own expertise. Still, insurance companies in the U.S. often require an official DSM diagnosis before they help cover the costs of medication or therapy, and researchers find it easier to get funding if they are studying a disorder officially recognized by the manual. This past December the APA announced that it has completed the lengthy revision process and will publish the new edition—the DSM-5—in May 2013, after some last (presumably minor) rounds of editing and proofreading. Below are the APA’s final decisions about some of the most controversial new disorders as well as hotly debated changes to existing ones, including a few surprises not anticipated by close observers of the revision process…

Update: New material above

New York Times | New Old Age Blogs | Medical Issues

Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder?

Paula Span| January 25, 2013

Dr. Allen Frances, chairman of the task force that developed the previous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, predicts inclusion of Mild Neurocognitive Disorder in the new version will lead to “wild overdiagnosis.”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published and periodically updated by the American Psychiatric Association, is one of those documents few laypeople ever read, but many of us are affected by…

Medscape Medical News Psychiatry

No Impact of DSM-5 Criteria on Alcohol Disorder Prevalence

Deborah Brauser | January 25, 2013

Although criteria used to assess serious alcohol problems will be revised in the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), these changes will not likely affect the prevalence of these disorders, new research suggests…

Huffington Post Blogs | Allen Frances, MD

Why Will DSM-5 Cost $199 a Copy?

Allen Frances, MD | January 25, 2013

DSM-5 has just announced its price — an incredible $199 (and the paperback is also no bargain at a hefty $149). Compare this to $25 for a DSM III in 1980; $65 for a DSM IV in 1994; and $84 for a DSM-IV-TR in 2000. The price tag on a copy of DSM is escalating at more than twice the rate of inflation.

What’s going on?

Huffington Post Blogs | Allen Frances, MD

Terrible News: DSM-5 Refuses to Reduce Overdiagnosis of ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’

Allen Frances, MD | January 18, 2013

Many of you will have read a previous blog prepared by Suzy Chapman and me that contained alarming information about the new DSM-5 diagnosis “somatic symptom disorder” (SSD).

DSM-5 defines SSD so over-inclusively that it will mislabel one in six people with cancer and heart disease, one in four with irritable bowel syndrom and fibromyalgia, and one in 14 who are not even medically ill.

I hoped to be able to influence the DSM-5 work group to correct this in two ways: 1) by suggesting improvements in the wording of the SSD criteria set that would reduce mislabeling, and 2) by letting them know how much opposition they would face from concerned professionals and an outraged public if DSM-5 failed to slam on the brakes while there was still time…

New York Times | New Old Age Blogs | Medical Issues

Grief Over New Depression Diagnosis

Paula Span | January 24, 2013, 6:40 am

The next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will not only abandon the Roman numerals, but will also leave grief considerations out of diagnoses for depression.
When the American Psychiatric Association unveils a proposed new version of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible of psychiatric diagnoses, it expects controversy. Illnesses get added or deleted, acquire new definitions or lists of symptoms. Everyone from advocacy groups to insurance companies to litigators — all have an interest in what’s defined as mental illness — pays close attention. Invariably, complaints ensue…

TIME | Alcohol

Revisions to Mental Health Manual May Turn Binge Drinkers into ‘Mild’ Alcoholics

Maia Szalavitz | January 23, 2013

Are you an alcoholic— or just a problem drinker? It may not matter, according to the latest version of the DSM, psychiatry’s diagnostic manual.

And now, in a new study of the different levels of alcohol misuse, scientists say the changes made to the DSM-5 may not even represent a significant improvement in the diagnosis of alcoholism. In fact, the revised definition collapses the medical distinction between problem drinking and alcoholism, potentially leading college binge drinkers to be mislabeled as possible lifelong alcoholics. The changes take effect in May, when the DSM-5 will be released…

EurekAlert! Press Release | January 22, 2013

Will Proposed DSM-5 Changes to Assessment of Alcohol Problems Do Any Better?

Proposed changes to the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will affect the criteria used to assess alcohol problems. One change would collapse the two diagnoses of alcohol abuse (AA) and alcohol dependence (AD) into a single diagnosis called alcohol use disorder (AUD). A second change would remove “legal problems,” and a third would add a criterion of “craving.” A study of the potential consequences of these changes has found they are unlikely to significantly change the prevalence of diagnoses…

Medpage Today

Psych Group Posts Glimpses of Final DSM-5

John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today | January 21, 2013

Peeks into the final DSM-5, the controversial new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, are now available from the group prior to the guide’s official May 22 debut…

British Psychological Society

Professor Peter Kinderman writes on DSM-5 for the BBC News website

January 18, 2013

People diagnosed with a mental illness need help and understanding, not labels and medication. That is the message of an article published on the BBC News Health pages today by Professor Peter Kinderman from the University of Liverpool, a former chair of our Division of Clinical Psychology…

[BBC News Health report below]

BBC News Health

‘Grief and anxiety are not mental illnesses’

Peter Kinderman, Professor of Clinical Psychology | January 18, 2013

The forthcoming edition of an American psychiatric manual will increase the number of people in the general population diagnosed with a mental illness – but what they need is help and understanding, not labels and medication.

Many people experience a profound and long-lasting grieving process following the death of a loved one. Many soldiers returning from conflict suffer from trauma. Many of us are shy and anxious in social situations or unmotivated and pessimistic if we’re unemployed or dislike our jobs…

Psychiatric Times

DSM-5 Field Trials: What Was Learned

James Phillips, MD | January, 8 2013

With DSM-5 now approved by the APA Board of Trustees—and, to the dismay of this reader, all discussion removed from the DSM-5 Web site—how are we to evaluate the results of the field trials for the end product? I suggest beginning with the short piece published in Psychiatric News, “What We Learned from DSM-5 Field Trials.”1 Authors David Kupfer and Helena Kraemer wrote, “We ultimately tested the criteria for 23 disorders. The question we asked was a straightforward one: In the hands of regular clinicians, assessing typically symptomatic patients in no different way than they would during everyday practice, was a particular disorder reliable?”

DSM-5 Round up: January #1

DSM-5 Round up: January #1

Post #218 Shortlink:

American Journal of Psychiatry

Editorials | January 01, 2013

The Initial Field Trials of DSM-5: New Blooms and Old Thorns

Robert Freedman, M.D.; David A. Lewis, M.D.; Robert Michels, M.D.; Daniel S. Pine, M.D.; Susan K. Schultz, M.D.; Carol A. Tamminga, M.D.; Glen O. Gabbard, M.D.; Susan Shur-Fen Gau, M.D., Ph.D.; Daniel C. Javitt, M.D., Ph.D.; Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Ph.D.; Patrick E. Shrout, Ph.D.; Eduard Vieta, M.D., Ph.D.; Joel Yager, M.D.

Am J Psychiatry 2013;170:1-5. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12091189

View Author and Article Information
Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association


“A rose is a rose is a rose” (1). For psychiatric diagnosis, we still interpret this line as Robins and Guze did for their Research Diagnostic Criteria—that reliability is the first test of validity for diagnosis (2). To develop an evidence-based psychiatry, the Robins and Guze strategy (i.e., empirically validated criteria for the recognizable signs and symptoms of illness) was adopted by DSM-III and DSM-IV. The initial reliability results from the DSM-5 Field Trials are now reported in three articles in this issue (3–5). As for all previous DSM editions, the methods used to assess reliability reflect current standards for psychiatric investigation (3). Independent interviews by two different clinicians trained in the diagnoses, each prompted by a computerized checklist, assessment of agreement across different academic centers, and a pre-established statistical plan are now employed for the first time in the DSM Field Trials. As for most new endeavors, the end results are mixed, with both positive and disappointing findings…

Full free text

Washington Post

Antidepressants to treat grief? Psychiatry panelists with ties to drug industry say yes

Peter Whoriskey | December 27, 2012

It was a simple experiment in healing the bereaved: Twenty-two patients who had recently lost a spouse were given a widely used antidepressant.

The drug, marketed as Wellbutrin, improved “major depressive symptoms occurring shortly after the loss of a loved one,” the report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry concluded.

When, though, should the bereaved be medicated? For years, the official handbook of psychiatry, issued by the American Psychiatric Association, advised against diagnosing major depression when the distress is “better accounted for by bereavement.” Such grief, experts said, was better left to nature.

But that may be changing…

Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry

APA Answers Criticism of Pharma-Influenced Bias in DSM-5

Deborah Brauser | January 4, 2013

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has fired back a strong response to a recent article by the Washington Post questioning the possibility of pharmaceutical industry influence on decisions regarding the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)…

Ed: Note for watchers of DSM-5’s Timeline. Although the Timeline has the final texts schedule for submission to the publishers by December 2012, in his commentary below, Dr Frances discloses that DSM-5 will go to press at the end of January. The new edition of DSM is slated for release at the APA’s 166th Annual Meeting, May 18-22, 2013, San Francisco.

Psychology Today

DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research
by Allen Frances, M.D.

Last Plea to DSM 5: Save Grief From the Drug Companies
Let us respect the dignity of love and loss.

Allen J. Frances, M.D. | January 3, 2013

Psychiatric News
Psychiatric News | January 04, 2013
Volume 48 Number 1 page 7-7
American Psychiatric Association
Professional News

Eating-Disorders Guideline Still Current and Valid, Panel Finds

Mark Moran | January 4, 2013

A review of the 2006 APA practice guideline on eating disorders finds that it is substantially current and is not affected by changes in diagnostic criteria in DSM-5.

Huffington Post

‘Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified’: What’s Changing With EDNOS In DSM-5?

Catherine Pearson | January 4, 2013

It took Autumn Whitefield-Madrano more than 20 years to seek treatment for her eating disorder. The writer was 9 when she started having symptoms, primarily binging, and 33 when she finally got help. When she did, the diagnosis surprised her. Whitefield-Madrano had EDNOS, or an “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified…”

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