APA finally posts DSM-5 Field Trials online and DSM-5 Round up

APA finally posts DSM-5 Field Trials online and DSM-5 Round up

Post #206 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2vu

Three papers discussing the results of the DSM-5 field trials were posted online yesterday by the American Journal of Psychiatry. The papers describe the methods and results of the 23 diagnoses assessed during the field trials.

APA failed to publish field trial results during the life of the third and final public review and comment period.

Access to the abstracts is free but you will need subscriber or institution access for the full PDFs or cough up $$ for the papers. ($35 per paper for 24 hours’ access. Why have these reports not been published on the DSM-5 Development website? Many classes of stakeholder will be disenfranchised.)

The article states that criteria were tested in October 2010 through February 2012 by 279 clinicians at 11 U.S. and Canadian academic centers. A second set of data from small group practices and private practices is expected to be reported early next year (that is, after the finalized draft has gone to the publishers).

Proposed criteria are still under review and won’t be finalized until approved by APA Board of Trustees.

DSM-5 draft proposals for criteria and categories as issued for the third and final stakeholder review can be read here on the DSM-5 Development website.

Note that the draft is now frozen and criteria sets and manual texts subject to embargo until publication of the DSM-5 manual. Any revisions made by the Task Force and Work Groups since the third iteration was released in May, this year, won’t be reflected on the DSM-5 Development website.

Published yesterday in the American Journal of Psychiatry and at Psychiatry Online:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Full text of article:

DSM-5 Field Trials Posted Online by AJP


Article 1 | October 30, 2012

Abstract: http://psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=1387935

DSM-5 Field Trials in the United States and Canada, Part I: Study Design, Sampling Strategy, Implementation, and Analytic Approaches

Diana E. Clarke, Ph.D., M.Sc.; William E. Narrow, M.D., M.P.H.; Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H.; S. Janet Kuramoto, Ph.D., M.H.S.; David J. Kupfer, M.D.; Emily A. Kuhl, Ph.D.; Lisa Greiner, M.S.S.A.; Helena C. Kraemer, Ph.D.

Am J Psychiatry 2012;:. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12070998

PDF for those with subscriber access: http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/data/Journals/AJP/0/appi.ajp.2012.12070998.pdf

Article 2 | October 30, 2012

Abstract: http://psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=1387906

DSM-5 Field Trials in the United States and Canada, Part II: Test-Retest Reliability of Selected Categorical Diagnoses

Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H.; William E. Narrow, M.D., M.P.H.; Diana E. Clarke, Ph.D., M.Sc.; Helena C. Kraemer, Ph.D.; S. Janet Kuramoto, Ph.D., M.H.S.; Emily A. Kuhl, Ph.D.; David J. Kupfer, M.D.

Am J Psychiatry 2012;:. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12070999

PDF for those with subscriber access:

Article 3 | October 30, 2012

Abstract: http://psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=1387907

DSM-5 Field Trials in the United States and Canada, Part III: Development and Reliability Testing of a Cross-Cutting Symptom Assessment for DSM-5

William E. Narrow, M.D., M.P.H.; Diana E. Clarke, Ph.D., M.Sc.; S. Janet Kuramoto, Ph.D., M.H.S.; Helena C. Kraemer, Ph.D.; David J. Kupfer, M.D.; Lisa Greiner, M.S.S.A.; Darrel A. Regier, M.D., M.P.H.

Am J Psychiatry 2012;:. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12071000

PDF for those with subscriber access:


DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research.

by Allen Frances, M.D.

DSM 5 Field Trials Discredits APA

You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

…According to the authors, 14 of the 23 disorders had “very good” or “good” reliability; 6 had questionable, but ‘acceptable’ levels; and just three had “unacceptable” rates. Sounds okay until you look at the actual data and discover that the cheerful words used by the DSM 5 leaders simply don’t fit their extremely disappointing results. The paper is a classic example of Orwellian ‘newspeak’…

Allen Frances, M.D. | August 30, 2012

Read full article here

Also on Huffington Post


1 Boring Old Man


1 Boring Old Man | October 30, 2012

Well, they finally published the results of the DSM-5 Field Trials. Here are the links to the abstracts and the main table of kappa values to look over…


DSM-5 Round up

Public Lecture St Mary’s College of Maryland


DSM-V: Social, Political, and Ethical Implications

November 2

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Cole Cinema, Campus Center

This presentation will describe the DSM-V, scheduled for publication in May 2013, and the controversy surrounding its development. Dr. Ancis will provide an overview of the newly proposed classification system and diagnoses.

It is imperative that those involved in using the DSM-V, or potentially impacted by the DSM, be duly informed. Questions associated with the DSM-V revision process; the empirical bases of proposed changes; social, legal, and political implications; and ethical and cultural considerations will be addressed.

Dr. Ancis will describe her involvement in a number of initiatives related to DSM-V proposals, including those of the Association of Women in Psychology and Counselors for Social Justice. She will also review concerns of major mental health organizations worldwide, such as the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the British Psychological Society, and related divisions.

Dr. Ancis is currently a Professor of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University. She earned her Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her major areas of interest are multicultural competency training, diversity attitudes, race and gender issues, education and career development, and legal system experiences.

Event Contact Info

Janet Kosarych-Coy

Email: jmkosarychcoy@smcm.edu

Phone: 2408954283

Website: Click to Visit

Location: Cole Cinema, Campus Center

18952 E. Fisher Rd

St. Mary’s City, MD 20686


Psychology Today

Side Effects

From quirky to serious, trends in psychology and psychiatry

The Tranquilizer Trap The scandal over benzodiazepines gets different emphasis in the UK and U.S.

Published on October 3, 2012 by Christopher Lane, Ph.D. in Side Effects

Anti-DSM Sentiment Rises in France Why French psychiatrists and psychoanalysts are opposed to the diagnostic manual  (French Stop DSM-5 Campaign)

Published on September 28, 2012 by Christopher Lane, Ph.D. in Side Effects

New York Times

Report Sees Less Impact in New Autism Definition

By BENEDICT CAREY | Published: October 2, 2012

Proposed changes to the official diagnosis of autism will not reduce the proportion of children found to have it as steeply as many have feared, scientists reported on Tuesday, in an analysis that contradicts several previous studies…


Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry

Controversial New Diagnosis in DSM-5 May Be Faulty

Pam Harrison | October 17, 2012

Attenuated psychosis syndrome (APS), a new and controversial diagnosis for potential inclusion in the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), is questionable, new research suggests…

DSM-5 and Employment Law

In September, Douglas Hass (Franczet Radelet) published an article Could the American Psychiatric Association Cause You Headaches? The Dangerous Interaction between the DSM-5 and Employment Law:



Since its first publication in 1952, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) has long served not only as the primary reference for mental health disorders for medical practitioners, but also as a primary authority for the legal community…

Full text in PDF format: Hass

Research Article


Research Article

The Effect of Draft DSM-V Criteria on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Prevalence

Patrick S. Calhoun Ph.D.1,2,3,*,
Jeffrey S. Hertzberg B.A.3,
Angela C. Kirby M.S.3,
Michelle F. Dennis B.A.2,
Lauren P. Hair M.S.3,
Eric A. Dedert Ph.D.1,2,3,
Jean C. Beckham Ph.D.1,2,3
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/da.22012

© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Journal of Psychosomatic Research

November 2012 Issue, Journal of Psychosomatic Research


Issue: Vol 73 | No. 5 | November 2012 | Pages 325-400


Predictive validity and clinical utility of DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder – Comparison with DSM-IV somatoform disorders and additional criteria for consideration

Katharina Voigt
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and Schön Klinik Hamburg-Eilbek, Hamburg, Germany

Corresponding author at: Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. Tel.: +49 40 7410 54408; fax: +49 40 7410 54975.

Eileen Wollburg
Schön Klinik Bad Bramstedt, Bad Bramstedt, Germany

Nina Weinmann
Schön Klinik Bad Bramstedt, Bad Bramstedt, Germany

Annabel Herzog
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and Schön Klinik Hamburg-Eilbek, Hamburg, Germany

Björn Meyer
GAIA AG, Hamburg, Germany

Gernot Langs
Schön Klinik Bad Bramstedt, Bad Bramstedt, Germany

Bernd Löwe
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and Schön Klinik Hamburg-Eilbek, Hamburg, Germany

Received 3 July 2012; received in revised form 29 August 2012; accepted 30 August 2012; published online 24 September 2012.


Major changes to the diagnostic category of somatoform disorders are being proposed for DSM-5. The effect of e.g. the inclusion of psychological criteria (criterion B) on prevalence, predictive validity, and clinical utility of “Somatic Symptom Disorder” (SSD) remains unclear. A prospective study was conducted to compare current and new diagnostic approaches.

In a sample of N=456 psychosomatic inpatients (61% female, mean age=44.8±10.4years) diagnosed with somatoform, depressive and anxiety disorders, we investigated the current DSM-5 proposal (SSD) plus potential psychological criteria, somatic symptom severity, and health-related quality of life at admission and discharge.

N=259 patients were diagnosed with DSM-IV somatoform disorder (56.8%). With a threshold of 6 on the Whiteley Index to assess psychological criteria, the diagnosis of SSD was similarly frequent (51.8%, N=230). However, SSD was a more frequent diagnosis when we employed the recommended threshold of one subcriterion of criterion B. Patients diagnosed with only SSD but not with DSM-IV somatoform disorder showed greater psychological impairment. Both diagnoses similarly predicted physical functioning at discharge. Bodily weakness and somatic and psychological attributions at admission were among significant predictors of physical functioning at discharge. Reduction of health anxiety, bodily weakness, and body scanning significantly predicted an improvement of physical functioning.

Psychological symptoms enhance predictive validity and clinical utility of DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder compared to DSM-IV somatoform disorders. The SSD diagnosis identifies more psychologically impaired patients than its DSM-IV precursor. The currently suggested diagnostic threshold for criterion B might increase the disorder’s prevalence.

Keywords: Somatoform disorder, Diagnosis, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Classification of diseases, Validation studies as topic

Ed: Note: Between publication of the second iteration of the DSM-5 draft proposals for public review and publication of the third set of draft proposals, the SSD “B type criteria” were reduced from the requirement to meet at least two from the “B type” criteria to at least one [1].

1] http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevision/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=368

Somatic Symptom Disorder Criteria


Trouble with timelines (2) Might APA hold back DSM-5 in response to an October 2014 ICD-10-CM compliance date?

Trouble with timelines (2): Might APA hold back publication of DSM-5 in response to a firm October 2014 ICD-10-CM compliance date?

Post #200 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2sW

Update at August 17: Commentary on DSM-5 from One Boring Old Man: didn’t need to happen…

Update at August 16: Commentary on DSM-5 from One Boring Old Man: all quiet on the western front…


In Trouble with timelines (1): DSM-5, ICD-10-CM, ICD-11 and ICD-11-CM, on August 10, I wrote

With no changes to the published Timeline and no intimation of further delays, I’m assuming DSM-5 remains on target.

But it’s not necessarily a given that DSM-5 will be on the bookshelves for May 2013.

Roger Peele, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A, has been a member of the DSM-5 Task Force since 2006. From 2007- 2010, Dr Peele was APA Trustee-At-Large; since 2010, Secretary to the APA Board of Trustees.

Dr Peele maintains a website at http://rogerpeele.com/index.asp providing clinical information for Montgomery County clinicians, resources for County residents and listing some of the initiatives taken relative to the American Psychiatric Association:


Writing just a few days after HHS Secretary’s announcement of intent to postpone the compliance date for adoption of ICD-10-CM/PCS codes sets for a further year, to October 1, 2014, Dr Peele informed his readers that the proposal to delay the compliance deadline

“…reduces some of the pressures to publish DSM-5 in 2013.”

In his post of February 23, Dr Peele goes on to say that a more certain answer was expected on February 28, but that remarks at the previous day’s American College of Psychiatrists meeting suggested the timing of DSM-5 for early 2013 was still on.

This suggests to me that if HHS decides not to take forward its proposal to delay ICD-10-CM compliance until October 1, 2014 but to stick with the original compliance date of October 1, 2013, that APA will still want to get its manual out several months ahead of the ICD-10-CM compliance deadline.

In order to meet a publication date of May 2013, APA says the final manual text will need to be with the publishers by December, this year. So unless HHS announces a decision within the next few weeks, APA isn’t going to have very much time left in which to dither over potentially shifting publication to 2014.

ICD-10-CM will be freely available online and is already accessible for pre implementation viewing. It’s the policy of WHO, Geneva, to make print versions of ICD publications globally available at reasonable cost. Although ICD-10-CM has been developed by US committees for US specific use, it’s not expected that print versions of ICD-10-CM will be as expensive as DSM-5.

DSM manuals are expensive; they are a commercial product generating substantial income for the APA’s publishing arm. APA will be looking to maximize sales and publication revenue and retain market share with this forthcoming edition.

There are already groups and petitions calling for the boycotting of DSM-5 in favour of using Chapter 5 of ICD-10-CM, when its code sets are operationalized.

So if ICD-10-CM is to be adopted by October 1, 2013, I cannot see APA and American Psychiatric Publishing not aiming to steal a march.

If, on the other hand, HHS were to announce shortly a firm rule that compliance for ICD-10-CM is being pushed back to October 2014, if DSM-5 Task Force and work groups are struggling to finalize the manual or having problems obtaining approval for some of their more contentious proposals from the various panels that are scrutinizing the near final draft, then delaying publication of DSM-5 to late 2013 or spring 2014 would provide APA with a window in which to complete its manual but still push it out ahead of ICD-10-CM.

Its PR firm can sell a publication delay to end-users as the APA’s taking the opportunity of postponement of ICD-10-CM compliance to allow more time for evaluation of DSM-5 field trial results, refinement of criteria or honing disorder description texts, and that a delay will better facilitate harmonization efforts with ICD-10-CM and ICD-11.

(ICD-10-CM is a modification of the WHO’s ICD-10 and has closer correspondence with DSM-IV than with DSM-5. Since 2003, ICD-9-CM diagnostic codes have been mandated by HIPAA for all electronic reporting and transactions for third-party billing and reimbursement and DSM-5 codes will need to be crosswalked to ICD-9-CM codes, for the remaining life of the ICD-9-CM. DSM-5 codes will also need to be convertible to ICD-10-CM codes for all electronic transactions.)

In a June 2011 presentation to the International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, APA President, John M. Oldham, MD, MS, spoke of “Negotiations in progress to ‘harmonize’ DSM-5 with ICD-11 and to ‘retro-fit’ these codes into ICD-10-CM” and that DSM-5 would need “to include ICD-10-CM ‘F-codes’ in order to process all insurance claims beginning October 1, 2011.”

With the drafting timelines for the three systems now so out of whack and a partial code freeze on ICD-10-CM, and with ICD-11 still at the Beta drafting stage, I can no longer be bothered to attempt to unscramble how alignment of the three systems [or best fit where no corresponding category exists] is going to dovetail, in practice, pre and post publication, or what the implications might be for the medical billing and coding industry, for clinicians and for patients.

Dr Peele then says

“Since ICD-11-CM is due in 2016, it may become appealing to the Feds to skip ICD-10-CM, and wait until 2016”

ICD-11-CM due in 2016?

Not so. It is the WHO’s ICD-11 that is aiming for readiness by 2016.

A misconception on the part of Dr Peele or wishful thinking?

It might suit the interests of APA and American Psychiatric Publishing, financially and politically, if ICD-10-CM were to be thrown overboard and instead, the US skip to a Clinical Modification of ICD-11, two or three years after a copy of its shiny new DSM-5 is sitting on every psychiatrist’s desk.

But that is not going to happen in 2016.

There is strong federal opposition, in any case, against leapfrogging over ICD-10-CM to a US modification of ICD-11:

Federal Register, January 16, 2009:

…We [ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee] discussed waiting to adopt the ICD-11 code set in the August 22, 2008 proposed rule (73 FR 49805)…

…However, work cannot begin on developing the necessary U.S. clinical modification to the ICD–11 diagnosis codes or the ICD–11 companion procedure codes until ICD–11 is officially released. Development and testing of a clinical modification to ICD–11 to make it usable in the United States will take an estimated additional 5 to 6 years. We estimated that the earliest projected date to begin rulemaking for implementation of a U.S. clinical modification of ICD–11 would be the year 2020.

The suggestion that we wait and adopt ICD–11 instead of ICD–10–CM and ICD–10–PCS does not consider that the alpha-numeric structural format of ICD–11 is based on that of ICD–10, making a transition directly from ICD–9 to ICD–11 more complex and potentially more costly. Nor would waiting until we could adopt ICD–11 in place of the adopted standards address the more pressing problem of running out of space in ICD–9–CM Volume 3 to accommodate new procedure codes…

And from a more recent Federal Register document:

Federal Register, April 17, 2012:

3. Option 3: Forgo ICD-10 and Wait for ICD-11

…The option of foregoing a transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, and instead waiting for ICD-11, was another alternative that was considered. This option was eliminated from consideration because the World Health Organization, which creates the basic version of the medical code set from which all countries create their own specialized versions, is not expected to release the basic ICD-11 medical code set until 2015 at the earliest.

From the time of that release, subject matter experts state that the transition from ICD-9 directly to ICD-11 would be more difficult for industry and it would take anywhere from 5 to 7 years for the United States to develop its own ICD-11 CM and ICD-11-PCS versions.


From an interview with Christopher Chute, MD, Making the Case for the ICD-10 Compliance Delay April 4, 2012, by Gabriel Perna for Healthcare Informatics:

“…Chute is also adamant that there is no possible reason or possibility that the U.S. could just skip over ICD-10 right into ICD-11. Even with his ties to ICD-11, Chute says there it’s not realistic, nor is it plausible, to have seven-to-nine more years of ICD-9 codes, while the medical industry waits for the World Health Organization to finish drafting ICD-11 and then waits for the U.S. to adapt it for its own use.”

A recent article in the JOURNAL OF AHIMA/July 2012/Volume 83, Number 7 in response to Chute et al [1] suggests the earliest the US could move onto a CM of ICD-11 might be 2025, or 13 years from now.

So, if HHS were to announce, soonish, a final rule for an October 1, 2014 ICD-10-CM compliance date, it’s not totally out of the question, in my view, that APA (who might be struggling to complete the manual for December) may extend its publication date for a second time.



1] There are important reasons for delaying implementation of the new ICD-10 coding system. Chute CG, Huff SM, Ferguson JA, Walker JM, Halamka JD. Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Apr;31(4):836-42. Epub 2012 Mar 21 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22442180  (Abstract free; Subscription or payment required for full text)

New domain for Dx Revision Watch and new Twitter address

New domain for Dx Revision Watch and new Twitter address

Post #199 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2rE

Please note the domain for this site has changed to


Previous links to posts and pages are being mapped across to this domain but you may like to update Bookmarks and update links to the Home Page on websites and blogs.

The Twitter page associated with this site has also changed from





These are voluntary changes and not related to the threats of legal action issued on behalf of American Psychiatric Publishing, A Division of American Psychiatric Association, which forced a domain and site name change, last December [1].

1] Media coverage: American Psychiatric Association (APA) “cease and desist” v DSM-5 Watch website; Legal information and resources for bloggers and site owners

Two resign from DSM-5 Personality Disorders Work Group over “seriously flawed” proposals

Two resign from DSM-5 Personality Disorders Work Group over “seriously flawed” proposals

Post #191 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2kN

Update at July 24, 2012: Additional reporting from Straight.com, Vancouver, on the resignations of two members of the DSM-5 Personality Disorders Work Group:

UBC prof emeritus John Livesley and Dutch expert quit DSM-V committee defining personality disorders

Charlie Smith | July 23, 2012

Update at July 16, 2012:

In the July issue of Clinical Psychology & Psychology there is an Editorial and two Commentaries around DSM-5 proposals for Personality and Personality Disorders.

Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy



No abstract is available for this article.

Personality Disorder Proposal for DSM-5: A Heroic and Innovative but Nevertheless Fundamentally Flawed Attempt to Improve DSM-IV

Roel Verheul

Article first published online: 12 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cpp.1809


No abstract is available for this article.

DSM-5 Personality Disorders: Stop Before it is Too Late

Paul Emmelkamp and Mick Power

Article first published online: 3 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cpp.1807


No abstract is available for this article.

Disorder in the Proposed DSM-5 Classification of Personality Disorders

W. John Livesley

Article first published online: 3 JUL 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/cpp.1808

Roel Verheul, Ph.D. and W. John Livesley, M.D., Ph.D. resigned as members of the DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group in April.

Dr Roel Verheul is CEO of de Viersprong, Netherlands Institute for Personality Disorders.

Dr. John Livesley is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia.

Allen Frances, M.D. who chaired the DSM-IV Task Force blogs at DSM 5 in Distress. Drs Verheul and Livesley have written to Dr Frances setting out their concerns for what they believe to be “seriously flawed proposals” and “a truly stunning disregard for evidence.”

DSM5 in Distress
The DSM’s impact on mental health practice and research.

by Allen Frances, M.D.

Two Who Resigned From DSM-5 Explain Why
They spell out the defects in the personality section

Allen Frances, M.D. | July 11, 2012

Roel Verheul and John Livesley both felt compelled to resign from the DSM-5 Personality Disorders Work Group. Here is an email from them describing what went wrong in the preparation of this section:

“…Regrettably, the Work Group has been unable to capitalize on the opportunity and has advanced a proposal that is seriously flawed. It has also demonstrated an inability to respond to constructive feedback both from within the Work Group and from the many experts in the field who have communicated their concerns directly and indirectly. We also regret the need to resign because we were the only International members of the Work Group which is now without representation from outside the US…”

“…Early on in the DSM-5 process, we developed major concerns about the Work Group’s mode of working and its emerging recommendations that we communicated to the Work Group and Task Force… We considered the current proposal to be fundamentally flawed and decided that it would be wrong of us to appear to collude with it any longer…As we see it, there are two major problems with the proposal…”

Read full article here

Proposals for the DSM-5 Personality Disorders as issued for the third and final stakeholder review can be read here on the DSM-5 Development site.

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

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

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

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

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


No publication of field trial data

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

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

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

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

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


No publication of list of Written Submissions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Submission from The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somatic Symptom Disorders

“Somatic Symptom Disorder

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


The British Psychological Society writes:

The British Psychological Society still has concerns over DSM-V

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

Read full submission to third draft here in PDF format.

Response to second draft here.

Christopher Lane comments:

Psychology Today | Side Effects

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

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

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

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

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

Read on


Submission from American Counseling Association (ACA)

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

ACA provides final comments on the DSM-5

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

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

Letter from President Lynn Linde, April 16, 2010

Letter from President Don Locke, November 8, 2011

Response from APA President John Oldham, November 21, 2011


Submission by Coalition for DSM-5 Reform Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our continuing concerns are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The cancelation of the second set of field trials.

The lack of formal forensic review.

Ad hominem responses to critics.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Welcome to DSM-5 Facts (The APA’s new PR site)

Welcome to DSM-5 Facts (The APA’s new PR site)

Post #175 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2cm

There’s just a couple of weeks left until the deadline for receipt of stakeholder comments in the third and final review of DSM-5 proposals but still no sign of the promised “full results of the field trials” from the Task Force.

In the meantime, something else from the APA, or rather its PR firm. A spanking new DSM-5 Facts site launched this week “to correct the record” and provide the public with “a complete and accurate view of this important issue.”


Welcome to DSM-5 Facts

The American Psychiatric Association believes strongly in the work that is being done to revise the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In preparation for the release of DSM-5, experts from psychiatry, psychology, social work, neuroscience, pediatrics and other fields have committed much of the last five years to reviewing scientific research and clinical data, analyzing the findings of extensive field trials and reviewing thousand of comments from the public.

We welcome scrutiny, not only of this process but of its results.

Regrettably, news reports and commentators alike are filling the discourse with inaccurate, biased or misinformed criticism of DSM-5. Such information undermines the important changes that are being made to the manual, and provokes unwarranted confusion and fear among the individuals and families who stand to benefit most from essential care based on the strongest available diagnostic criteria.

The APA has created this forum to ensure observers of the DSM-5 development process have the facts.

Posted below are recent news stories, articles and opinion pieces, along with our responses, to correct the record, highlight key omissions — and provide essential perspective so that the public has a complete and accurate view of this important issue….


On the DSM-5 Facts Issue Accuracy page you’ll find responses to recent articles and Op-Eds by Allen Frances, Paula Caplan, NYT journalist, Benedict Carey, and Cosgrove and Krimsky.

In a counterpoint to Frances’ May 12, New York Times Op-Ed piece, APA responds:

APA Responds to Allen Frances New York Times Op-Ed

There are actually relatively few substantial changes to draft disorder criteria. Those that have been recommended are based on the scientific and clinical evidence amassed over the past 20 years and then are subject to multiple review processes within the APA.

Unfortunately there is no comment facility on this DSM-5 Fact site.

One section for which substantial changes to disorder criteria are being proposed is the Somatoform Disorders.

The Somatic Symptom Disorder Work Group proposes radical changes to this category: to rename the Somatoform Disorders section to “Somatic Symptom Disorders”; eliminate four existing DSM-IV categories: somatization disorder, hypochondriasis, pain disorder, and undifferentiated somatoform disorder; replace these discrete categories and their criteria with a single new category – “[Complex] Somatic Symptom Disorder” and apply new criteria.

“…To receive a diagnosis of complex somatic symptom disorder, patients must complain of at least one somatic symptom that is distressing and/or disruptive of their daily lives. Also, patients must have at least two [Ed: now reduced to “at least one from the B type criteria” since evaluation of the CSSD field trials] of the following emotional/cognitive/behavioral disturbances: high levels of health anxiety, disproportionate and persistent concerns about the medical seriousness of the symptom(s), and an excessive amount of time and energy devoted to the symptoms and health concerns. Finally, the symptoms and related concerns must have lasted for at least six months.

“Future research will examine the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, or treatment of complex somatic symptom disorder as there is no published research on this diagnostic category.”

“…Just as for complex somatic symptom disorder, there is no published research on the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, or treatment of simple somatic symptom disorder.”

Source: Woolfolk RL, Allen LA. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Somatoform Disorders. Standard and Innovative Strategies in Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

And from the SSD Work Group  Rationale/Validity Document  (as published on May 4, 2011 for the second public review of draft proposals but not revised or reissued for the third review):

“…The presence of CSSD complicates management of all disorders and must be addressed in the treatment plan.

“It is unclear how these changes would affect the base rate of disorders now recognized as somatoform disorders. One might conclude that the rate of diagnosis of CSSD would fall, particularly if some disorders previously diagnosed as somatoform were now diagnosed elsewhere (such as adjustment disorder). On the other hand, there are also considerable data to suggest that physicians actively avoid using the older 6 diagnoses because they find them confusing or pejorative. So, with the CSSD classification, there may be an increase in diagnosis.

“The B-type criteria are crucial for a diagnosis of CSSD. These criteria in essence reflect disturbance in thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors in conjunction with long standing distressing somatic symptoms. Whilst an exact threshold is perhaps arbitrary, considerable work suggests that the degree of functional impairment is associated with the number of such criteria. Using a threshold of 2 or more such criteria results in prevalence estimates of XXXX in the general population, XXXX in patients with known medical illnesses, and XXXX in patients who may previously have been considered to suffer from a somatoform illness. {text in development concerning impact of different thresholds for criteria B- from Francis [Creed]}…”

No data on prevalence estimates available for the second review and no data on impact of different thresholds for the B type criteria and prevalence estimates available for the third review.

I will update if a report on the field trials is released.

Commentary from Allen Frances on the launch of this new DSM-5 Fact site.

Huffington Post Blogs | Allen Frances

Public Relations Fictions Trying to Hide DSM 5 Facts

Allen Frances MD | May 31, 2012

Recently APA recruited a public relations guy from the Department of Defense to respond to my concerns that DSM 5 is way off track. He immediately went on the offensive and (in an interview for Time magazine) made the obvious PR mistake of calling me “a dangerous man.” This provided me the opportunity to pose yet again the troubling questions about DSM 5 that APA repeatedly refuses to answer. The DOD guy hasn’t surfaced since.

Instead, APA has adopted a much smoother, soft sell approach. It has hired GYMR — an expensive PR firm. GYMR actually brags in its mission statement that it can “execute strategies that include image and alliance building, public education campaigns or media relations to harness the formidable forces of Washington and produce successful results for clients.”

We now have the first fruits of GYMR’s “image building” misinformation campaign. It has launched a PR website with the claim it will provide “the facts on DSM-5 development process. Read recent news stories & opinion pieces, along with our responses, to correct the record, highlight key omissions — and provide essential perspective, so that the public has a complete and accurate view of this important issue.”

Unfortunately, the site is very short on accurate facts, very long on misleading (or just plain wrong) “image building” fiction. It is all pure PR fluff — a way to avoid answering the substantive questions that need addressing before DSM 5 is prematurely rushed to press. Let’s compare GYMR fiction versus DSM 5 fact:

GYMR Fiction: “We have extensive data from the field trials that on average there is a slight decrease in the overall rates of DSM-5 in comparison to DSM-IV disorders.”

DSM 5 Fact: This is simply wrong — APA has no such data. Except for autism, all of the DSM 5 changes will dramatically raise the rates of mental disorder and mislabel normal people as psychiatrically sick. The field trial provided no data on this crucial question because it made an unforgivable error — not including head to head prevalence comparisons between DSM IV and DSM 5. This makes it impossible to estimate how explosive will be the DSM 5 rate jumps. Moreover, false epidemics are often nurtured in the primary care settings that were untested in the DSM 5 field trials.

GYMR Fiction: The PR claim is that DSM 5 has provided a transparent process.

DSM 5 Fact: DSM 5 has been peculiarly and self-destructively secretive from its early confidentiality agreements (meant to protect intellectual property) to its current failure to make public any of the results of its ‘scientific’ reviews. Real science can never be confidential. None of this secrecy makes any sense.

GYMR Fiction: “APA takes very seriously its responsibility in developing and maintaining DSM and has devoted $25 million to the DSM-5 update process thus far.”

DSM 5 Fact: The $25 million has been a colossal waste of poorly spent money. We did DSM IV for one-fifth the price and never missed a deadline or stirred much controversy. The difference in expenditure and outcome has nothing to do with us being especially competent. It has everything to do with DSM 5 being poorly conceived and organized and spending lavishly on silly things like public relations.

GYMR Fiction: “There are several proposals in DSM-5 that aim to more accurately describe the symptoms and behaviors of disorders that typically present in children.”

DSM 5 Fact: The epidemics of excessive diagnosis in children will be muddled further by DSM 5. The threshold for ADHD is being lowered despite the tripling of rates. Temper Dyregulation (AKA DMDD) is being suggested based on just a few years of work by just one research group — despite the risk it will exacerbate the already inappropriate and dangerous use of antipsychotic drugs in kids. And DSM 5 somehow persists in not understanding how its suggestions will necessarily have a profound impact on rates of autism.

GYMR Fiction: “There are actually relatively few substantial changes to draft disorder criteria.”

DSM 5 Fact: Dead wrong — how did GYMR ever come up with this one? My guess is that the DSM 5 changes would affect the diagnosis of tens of millions of people. APA has no way of refuting this estimate since it unaccountably failed to ask the crucial prevalence question in its $3 million field trial.

GYMR Fiction: “Those that have been recommended are based on the scientific and clinical evidence amassed over the past 20 years and then are subject to multiple review processes within the APA.”

DSM 5 Fact: Most of the reviews are poorly done and none of the suggestions would stand up to the kind of impartial, independent scientific review demanded by a petition supported by 51 mental health associations. The APA internal review lacks any credibility because it is done in secret and has somehow found a way to approve DMDD and the removal of the bereavement exclusion — both of which have little or no scientific support. To be credible, APA must both make public its own scientific reviews and also contract for external and independent reviews on all the most controversial topics.

GYMR Fiction: “The APA governance attention to this is far greater than anything that ever occurred with DSM III or DSM-IV.”

DSM 5 Fact: Absurd on the face of it. If there had ever been anything resembling proper internal supervision, DSM 5 would not be in this deep mess and would not require expensive PR fig leaves to try to cover it up.

There is more, but you get the idea. DSM 5 is in a paradoxical position. Publishing profits pressure it toward premature publication, but its close to final draft is the object of almost universal opposition. On one side we have APA and its new hired gun GYMR — on the other side we have 51 professional organizations, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, the international media and outraged segments of the public. It is far too late for any superficial “image building,” however clever, to restore DSM 5 credibility. Saving DSM 5 requires radically reforming its mistakes, not covering them up with a PR smokescreen of misinformation.

The last and only hope for a safe and credible DSM 5 now resides in the new APA leadership — it is within its power to thoroughly reform DSM 5 before it is too late.

The stakes are high. A DSM 5 at war with its users will wind up losing many of them. Disillusioned members (each of whom has involuntarily sunk almost $1,000 in this lavish but misdirected DSM 5 effort) will speed up the already rapid exodus of APA members. APA will eventually lose its monopoly on psychiatric diagnosis. Psychiatry will be unfairly discredited. And, worst of all, the patients who need our help will suffer.

DSM 5 is in such public trouble now because it heedlessly missed every prior private opportunity to self-correct. The solution is not the production of more public relations pablum. Instead, DSM 5 needs to regroup, solve its problems, and avoid racing over a cliff.

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