DSM-5 controversy: Lane on “SAD”, Frances Follows the Money, Spitzer et al on Kappa reliability

DSM-5 controversy round up:

Lane on “SAD”; Frances “Follows the Money”; Spitzer et al on Kappa reliability; A Closer Look at Pending Changes to the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis June issue The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

Post #178 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2em

Side Effects at Psychology Today

From quirky to serious, trends in psychology and psychiatry.

Christopher Lane, Ph.D. | June 11, 2012

Naming an Ailment: The Case of Social Anxiety Disorder”

“Social phobia” vs. “Social anxiety disorder”: What’s in a name?

…“Using data collected from a telephone survey of residents of New York State,” the letter writers continue, “we investigated whether the disorder name affects the perceived need for treatment. Random-digit dialing was used to obtain phone numbers … In total, 806 people participated.”

“Respondents heard a brief vignette describing a person who experiences discomfort in social situations and often avoids social events. These symptoms were labeled as either social phobia or social anxiety disorder, and respondents indicated whether the person should seek mental health treatment.”

The results are dubious to say the least…

Read full commentary

Psychology Today

DSM 5 in Distress | Allen Frances

Follow The Money
APA puts publishing profits above public trust

Allen Frances MD | June 11, 2012

…APA treats DSM-5 like a valuable publishing property, not as a public trust that importantly impacts on people’s lives and public policy. It is excellent at protecting its “intellectual property” with confidentiality agreements and at protecting its trademark and copyright with bullying threats of law suits. But APA has been sadly incompetent and wildly profligate in the day-to-day work of actually producing a safe and scientifically sound DSM-5.

Dr Scully is asking us to believe ten very unbelievable things. My view – if you want to understand why an unreliable and unsafe DSM-5 is being rushed prematurely to market – is to “follow the money…”

Read full commentary at DSM-5 in Distress

Newswire

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=1109031

The American Journal of Psychiatry, VOL. 169, No. 5

Letters to the Editor | May 01, 2012

Standards for DSM-5 Reliability

Robert L. Spitzer, M.D.; Janet B.W. Williams, Ph.D.; Jean Endicott, Ph.D.
Princeton, N.J. New York City

Am J Psychiatry 2012;169:537-537. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12010083

TO THE EDITOR: In the January issue of the Journal, Helena Chmura Kraemer, Ph.D., and colleagues (1) ask, in anticipation of the results of the DSM-5 field trial reliability study, how much reliability is reasonable to expect. They argue that standards for interpreting kappa reliability, which have been widely accepted by psychiatric researchers, are unrealistically high…

A Closer Look at Pending Changes to the Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis

Released: 6/7/2012 9:00 AM EDT
Source: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Articles Have Potential to Affect Final DSM-5 Standards as Public comment Period Ends

Newswise — New York, NY (June 7, 2012) – The June issue of The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD) features a special section focused on the impending release of the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), an update to psychiatric diagnosis standards. JNMD is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Editor-in-Chief John A. Talbott, MD, (a past APA president and DSM-III collaborator) comments in his editorial, “The timing of this special section on DSM-5, therefore, is particularly auspicious because it provides the potential for these articles to affect the final DSM-5 decisions.” The DSM-5 manual, currently scheduled for publication in May 2013, is going through its final public comment period through June 15, 2012.

Many articles within the section present criticisms of DSM-5 proposals. Specifically, several authors worry that the new DSM-5 standards may open up more opportunities for false-positives – a doctor diagnosing a condition when it is not present, or providing medication when it is not needed.

• “Diagnostic Inflation: Causes and Suggested Cure” by Batstra and Frances displays the authors’ concern that the proposed changes to DSM-5 will result in diagnostic inflation and inappropriate use of medication. They suggest “stepped diagnosis,” which includes a watch-and-wait period before beginning medication, to combat false-positives.

• In “Recurrence of Bereavement-Related Depression: Evidence for the Validity of the DSM-IV Bereavement Exclusion From the Epidemiological Catchment Area Study,” Wakefield and Schmitz contend that the DSM-5 proposal to remove the bereavement exclusion from the definition of a major depressive episode would cause those who are experiencing normal grief after the death of a loved one to be mislabeled as clinically depressed.

Other articles respond to DSM-5 proposals to include new disorders and diagnostic constructs. For example, DSM-5 proposes to reclassify pathological gambling as a behavioral addiction, which may pave the way for other excessive behaviors to be included in this construct in the future.

• Mihordin takes a look at the potential consequences of this change in his article, “Behavioral Addiction V Quo Vadis?” in which he presents hypothetical criteria for the diagnosis of pathological model railroading disorder.

• Good and Burstein respond to the DSM-5 proposal to include a hebephilic subtype to the diagnosis of pedophilia in “Hebephilia and the Construction of a Fictitious Diagnosis”. Additionally, Wakefield examines two DSM-5 proposals on classifying pathological forms of grief as mental disorders in “Should Prolonged Grief Be Reclassified as a Mental Disorder in DSM-5? Reconsidering the Empirical and Conceptual Arguments for Complicated Grief Disorder.”

Included in the special section, “Psychotropic Marketing Practices and Problems: Implication for DSM-5” by Raven and Perry looks at how certain aspects of DSM-5 could be used by the pharmaceutical industry as marketing tools, especially with a wider customer base resulting from false-positive patients. In “A Critique of the DSM-5 Field Trials,” Jones examines problems that may have compromised the usefulness of the DSM-5 field trials.

It is important to note that the articles in the special section of JNMD were written at various points since February 2010 based on the criteria sets posted on the DSM-5 website. Many of these criteria sets have been updated since their initial posting. “Thus, the critiques of certain proposals contained in these articles may no longer be fully relevant to what is actually being proposed for DSM-5,” Dr. Talbott states in his editorial. Visit the DSM-5 website at http://www.dsm5.org/  for the most accurate information on what is being considered for inclusion in DSM-5.

# # #

About The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Founded in 1874, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease is the world’s oldest, continuously published independent scientific monthly in the field of human behavior. Articles cover theory, etiology, therapy, social impact of illness, and research methods

DSM-5 round-up: Lane on “DSM-5 Facts” site, Frances on DSM-5, Kupfer on Frances

DSM-5 round-up: Lane on new “DSM-5 Facts” site, Frances on DSM-5, Kupfer on Frances

Post #176 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2cQ

What we were waiting for were the “full results” of the reliability data from the DSM-5 field trials.

What we got was a public relations sticking plaster.

Christopher Lane reported in Side Effects on the American Psychiatric Association’s new platform DSM-5 Facts – a website launched, last week, to “correct the record, highlight key omissions – and provide essential perspective so that the public has a complete and accurate view…

Side Effects

Christopher Lane, Ph.D. | June 4, 2012

The APA’s PR Problem
Why is the American Psychiatric Association hiring a PR company to market DSM-5?

As the news tumbled out last week that the American Psychiatric Association had hired GYMR, an expensive PR company, to help the organization “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” (services that GYMR brags about in its mission statement), it became clearer than ever that the APA has more than an image-problem with DSM-5

Read on

In a long interview with Allen Frances, Stephen M. Strakowski asks: What’s wrong with DSM-5 and what needs to be done to put it right?

Medscape Psychiatry

What’s Wrong With DSM-5?

Stephen M. Strakowski, MD; Allen J. Frances, MD | June 1, 2012

Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse: Introduction
The Biggest Problems With DSM-5?
What Would Dr. Frances Do?
A Safe, Credible DSM-5 by 2013?

…The reliability-test results for stage 1 show that DSM-5 badly flunked and that stage 2 is desperately needed. The leadership lowered expectations with statements indicating that they are willing to accept diagnostic agreements far below historical levels and include proposals achieving diagnostic agreements that are little better than chance. This is simply not acceptable and should not be accepted…

…it is discouraging that DSM-5 has not accepted the need for external review, is going forward with poorly written and unreliable criteria sets, and still contains so many unsafe and scientifically unsound proposals. It remains to be seen whether DSM-5 will be responsive to what is certain to be increasing external pressure to trim its sails and improve its quality. If it attempts to hang tough, I think DSM-5 will no longer be used much (if at all) overseas and will also lose much of its following in the United States…

Task Force Chair, David J. Kupfer, MD, responds:

Medscape Psychiatry

Dr. Kupfer Defends DSM-5

David J. Kupfer, MD | June 1, 2012

Editor’s Note:
In a recent Medscape interview with Dr. Stephen Strakowski, DSM-IV Task Force Chair Dr. Allen J. Frances expressed serious concerns about a number of proposals being considered for inclusion in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), scheduled for release in May 2013. Below, DSM-5 Task Force Chair Dr. David Kupfer defends the proposed revision.

A DSM-5 Defense
Will DSM-5 Inflate Prevalence?

A third Medscape report from the APA’s Annual Conference by Nassir Ghaemi, MD:

Medscape Psychiatry

DSM-5: Finding a Middle Ground

Nassir Ghaemi, MD | June 1, 2012

Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine; Director, Mood Disorders Program, Psychiatry Department, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts

DSM-5: Validity vs Reliability
But DSM-IV Has Limitations, Too

Two more commentaries from 1 Boring Old Man on DSM-5 process and field trial Kappa results:

the APA Trustees must intervene in the DSM-5…

1 Boring Old Man | June 4, 2012

and will…

1 Boring Old Man | June 3, 2012

American Psychiatric Association (APA) Assembly Notes and Full Treasurer’s Report

American Psychiatric Association (APA) Assembly Notes and Full Treasurer’s Report

Post #174 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2bX

Update @ June 1, 2012

James H. Scully, Jr., M.D., CEO and Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association, has published a response to Allen Frances’ Huff Po blog of May 30:

DSM-5 Inaccuracies: Setting the Record Straight

Update @ May 30, 2012

1 Boring Old Man

reform, or accept your fate…

1 Boring Old Man | May, 30 2012

Huffington Post Blogs Allen Frances, MD

DSM-5 Costs $25 Million, Putting APA in a Financial Hole

Allen Frances | May 30, 2012

The American Psychiatric Association just reported a surprisingly large yearly deficit of $350,000. This was caused by reduced publishing profits, poor attendance at its annual meeting, rapidly declining membership, and wasteful spending on DSM-5. APA reserves are now below “the recommended amount for a non-profit (reserves equal to a year’s operating expenses).”

APA has already spent an astounding $25 million on DSM-5. I can’t imagine where all that money went. As I recall it, DSM-IV cost about $5 million, and more than half of this came from outside research grants. Even if the DSM-5 product were made of gold instead of lead, $25 million would be wildly out of proportion. The rampant disorganization of DSM-5 must have caused colossal waste. One obvious example is the $3 million spent on the useless DSM-5 field trial, with its irrelevant question, poorly conceived design, and embarrassing results…

Full commentary

On May 8, in an article for Medscape Medical News, Deborah Brauser reported:

     …Members of the task force said they hope to publish the full results [of the DSM-5 field trials] “within a month.” However, the third and final public comment period for the manual opened last week and ends on June 15. Although the entire period is 6 weeks long, the public may only have 2 weeks to comment after the publication of the field trials’ findings. DSM-5 Field Trials Generate Mixed Results

With less than three weeks to go before the stakeholder and public comment period closes, there is still no sign of a report on the DSM-5 field trials.

If the Task Force does not get a report out soon, stakeholders will be obliged to submit feedback without the benefit of data from the trials to inform their comments. Once again, this third and final stakeholder review smacks of a purely tokenistic exercise.

For the two previous draft reviews, some disorders were accompanied by PDF documents expanding on new and revised disorder descriptions and work group rationales.

For the Somatic Symptom Disorders, no updated “Disorder Descriptions” or “Rationale/Validity” documents have been published that reflect substantial revisions made to proposals and criteria between the second and third drafts. The documents as published for the second review have been taken down from the DSM-5 Development site but have not been revised and reissued.

I have twice contacted APA Media and Communications for clarification of whether the Work Group intends to publish revised documents before the end of the comment period. Evidently APA Media and Communications don’t wish to provide me with a response.

 

I will update if and when a report on the field trials emerges from the Task Force.

In the meantime, here are two public domain documents that may be of interest to APA watchers:

APA Assembly Notes Spring 2012

or download here:

http://alabamapsych.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/apa_assembly_notes_may_2012.pdf

APA Treasurer’s Report May 2012  [.ppt compatible PowerPoint reader required]

or view here:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BzWdENl1wkVSYk5aXzRZelFYUjA/edit?pli=1

Call to action – DSM-5 comments needed by June 15, 2012

Call to action – DSM-5 comments needed by June 15, 2012

Post #173 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2bO

The stakeholder comment period for the third and final review of draft proposals for DSM-5 categories and criteria closes on June 15. Patients, patient organizations and professional stakeholders have three weeks left in which to submit comments.

US advocate, Mary Dimmock, has prepared a “Call to action”

Call to action – DSM-5 comments needed by June 15, 2012

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used in the U.S. to categorize mental disorders for patient diagnosis, treatment and insurance. The new version, DSM-5, includes a proposal for Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) that will have profound implications for ME/CFS patients. Your input is needed by June 15, 2012 to ensure that the DSM-5 authors understand your concerns…

…SSD can be applied to patients regardless of whether the symptoms are considered to be medically unexplainable or not. Severity is rated by the count and frequency of somatic symptoms. The “Justification for Criteria – Somatic Symptoms”, issued in May 2011, states that CBT, focused on “the identification and modification of dysfunctional and maladaptive beliefs”, is one of the most promising treatments.

Why this matters to ME/CFS patients
A diagnosis of SSD can be “bolted” onto any patient’s diagnosis. All that is required is for the medical practitioner to decide that the patient is excessively concerned with their somatic symptoms and their health. This is done using highly subjective and difficult to measure criteria for which very few independent reliability studies have been undertaken.

For patients with diseases that are poorly understood and misdiagnosed by the medical community, like ME/CFS, this will be disastrous. Once diagnosed inappropriately with SSD, the implications for diagnosis, treatment, disability and insurance will be profound…

Download Mary’s Call to action document here:

Word .docx format DSM-5 Response 2012

Word .doc format DSM-5 Response 2012 (MS 2004)

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis

Post #172 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-29B

By Suzy Chapman | Dx Revision Watch

Update: My submission to the Somatic Symptom Disorder Work Group in response to the third DSM-5 draft and stakeholder review can be read here: Chapman Response to Third Draft DSM-5 SSD Proposals

May 26, 2012

While media and professional attention has been focused on the implications for introducing new disorders into the DSM and lowering diagnostic thresholds for existing categories, the Somatic Symptom Disorders (SSD) Work Group has been quietly redefining DSM’s Somatoform Disorders with radical proposals that could bring millions more patients under a mental health diagnosis.

The SSD Work Group is proposing to rename the Somatoform Disorders section of DSM-IV to “Somatic Symptom Disorders,” eliminate four existing  DSM-IV categories: somatization disorder [300.81], hypochondriasis [300.7], pain disorder*, and undifferentiated somatoform disorder [300.82] and replace them with a single new category – “Somatic Symptom Disorder.”

*In DSM-IV: Pain Disorder associated with a general medical condition (only): Psychological factors, if present, are judged to play no more than a minimal role. This is not considered a mental disorder so it is coded on Axis III with general medical conditions.See http://behavenet.com/pain-disorder for definitions and criteria for other DSM-IV presentations of Pain disorder.  For DSM-5, it appears that all presentations of Pain disorder will be subsumed under the new SSD category.

If approved, these proposals will license the application of a mental health diagnosis for all illnesses – whether “established general medical conditions or disorders” like diabetes, heart disease and cancer or conditions presenting with “somatic symptoms of unclear etiology” – if the clinician considers the patient is devoting too much time to their symptoms and that their life has become “subsumed” by health concerns and preoccupations, or their response to distressing somatic symptoms is “excessive” or “disproportionate,” or their coping strategies “maladaptive.”

Somatoform Disorders – disliked and dysfunctional

The SSD Work Group, under Chair, Joel E. Dimsdale, MD, says current terminology for the Somatoform Disorders is confusing and flawed; that no-one likes these disorders and they are rarely used in clinical psychiatric practice. Primary Care physicians don’t understand the terms and patients find them demeaning and offensive [1,2].

The group says the terms foster mind/body dualism; that the concept of “medically unexplained” is unreliable, especially in the presence of medical illness, and cites high prevalence of presentation with “medically unexplained somatic symptoms” (MUS) in general medical settings – 20% in Primary Care, 40% in Specialist Care, 33-61% in Neurology; that basing a diagnosis of psychiatric disorder on MUS alone is too sensitive.

The Work Group might have considered dispensing altogether with a clutch of disliked, dysfunctional categories. Instead, the group proposes to rebrand these disorders and assign new criteria that will capture patients with diverse illnesses, expanding application of psychiatric services, antidepressants and behavioural therapies like CBT, for the “modification of dysfunctional and maladaptive beliefs about symptoms and disease, and behavioral techniques to alter illness and sick role behaviors.”

Focus shifts from “medically unexplained” to “excessive thoughts, behaviors and feelings”

The Work Group’s proposal is to deemphasize “medically unexplained” as the central defining feature of this disorder group.

For DSM-5, focus shifts to the patient’s cognitions – “excessive thoughts, behaviors and feelings” about the seriousness of distressing and persistent somatic (bodily) symptoms – which may or may not accompany diagnosed general medical conditions – and the extent to which “illness preoccupation” is perceived to “dominate” or “subsume” the patient’s life.

“[The SSD Work Group’s] framework will allow a diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder in addition to a general medical condition, whether the latter is a well-recognized organic disease or a functional somatic syndrome such as irritable bowel syndrome or chronic fatigue syndrome…” [3]

“…These disorders typically present first in non-psychiatric settings and somatic symptom disorders can accompany diverse general medical as well as psychiatric diagnoses. Having somatic symptoms of unclear etiology is not in itself sufficient to make this diagnosis. Some patients, for instance with irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia would not necessarily qualify for a somatic symptom disorder diagnosis. Conversely, having somatic symptoms of an established disorder (e.g. diabetes) does not exclude these diagnoses if the criteria are otherwise met…” [4]

To meet requirements for Somatization Disorder (300.81) in DSM-IV, a considerably more 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. The diagnostic threshold was set high – a total of eight or more medically unexplained symptoms from four, specified symptom groups, with at least four pain and two gastrointestinal symptoms.

In DSM-5, the requirement for eight symptoms is dropped to just one.

One distressing symptom for at least six months duration and one “B type” cognition is all that is required to tick the box for a bolt-on diagnosis of a mental health disorder – cancer + SSD; angina + SSD; diabetes + SSD; IBS + SSD…

The most recent proposals for new category “J 00 Somatic Symptom Disorder.”

Note that the requirement for “at least two from the B type criteria” for the second draft has been reduced to “at least one from the B type criteria” for the third iteration of draft proposals. This lowering of the threshold is presumably in order to accommodate the merging of the previously proposed “Simple Somatic Symptom Disorder” category into the “Complex Somatic Symptom Disorder” category, a conflation now proposed to be renamed to “Somatic Symptom Disorder.” No revised “Disorder Description” and “Rationale/Validity” documents reflecting the changes made between draft two and draft three were issued for the third and final draft.

Ed: Update: Following closure of the third stakeholder review on June 15, 2012, proposals, criteria and rationales were frozen and the DSM-5 Development website was not updated to reflect any subsequent revisions. Proposals, criteria and rationales, as posted for the third draft in May 2012, were removed from the DSM-5 Development website on November 15, 2012 and placed behind a non public log in. Consequently, criteria as they had stood for “Somatic Symptom Disorder” at the point at which the third draft was issued can no longer be accessed but are set out on Slide 9 in this presentation, which note, does not include three, optional Severity Specifiers that were included with the third draft criteria. Since any changes to the drafts are embargoed in preparation for publication of DSM-5, in May 2013, I cannot confirm whether any changes have been made to the draft subsequent to June 15, 2012.

IASP and the Classification of Pain in ICD-11  Prof. Dr. Winfried Rief, University of Marburg, Germany

Slide 9

Rief Presentation ICD-11 Pain

How are highly subjective and difficult to measure constructs like “Disproportionate and persistent thoughts about the seriousness of one’s symptoms” and “Excessive time and energy devoted to these symptoms or health concerns” to be operationalized?

By what means would a practitioner determine how much of a patient’s day spent “searching the internet looking for data” (to quote an example of the SSD Work Group Chair) might be considered a reasonable response to chronic health concerns and what should be coded as “excessive preoccupation” or indicate that this patient’s life has become “subsumed” or “overwhelmed” by concerns about illness and symptoms? One hour day? Two hours? Three?

At the APA’s Annual Conference earlier this month, SSD Work Group Chair, Joel E. Dimsdale, presented an update on his group’s deliberations. During the Q & A session, an academic professional in the field expressed concern that practitioners who are not psychiatric professionals or clinicians might have some difficulty interpreting the wording of the B type criteria to differentiate between negative and positive coping strategies.

Dr Dimsdale was asked to expand on how the B type criteria would be defined and by what means patients with chronic medical conditions who devote time and energy to health care strategies to try to improve their symptoms and level of functioning would be evaluated in the field by the very wide range of DSM users; how would these patients be differentiated from patients considered to be spending “excessive time and energy devoted to symptoms or health concerns” or perceived as having become “absorbed” by their illness?

I am not persuaded by Dr Dimsdale’s reassurances that his Work Group will try to make this “crystal clear” in the five to six pages of manual text in the process of being drafted for this disorder chapter. Nor am I reassured that these B (1), (2) and (3) criteria can be safely applied outside the optimal conditions of field trials, in settings where practitioners may not necessarily have the time for, nor instruction in administration of diagnostic assessment tools, and where decisions to code or not to code may hang on arbitrary and subjective perceptions of DSM end-users lacking clinical training in the use of the manual text and application of criteria.

Implications for a diagnosis of SSD for all patient populations

Incautious, inept application of criteria resulting in a “bolt-on” psychiatric diagnosis of a “Somatic Symptom Disorder” could have far-reaching implications for all patient populations:

Application of highly subjective and difficult to measure criteria could potentially result in misdiagnosis with a mental health disorder, misapplication of an additional diagnosis of a mental health 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 local recurrence, metastasis or secondary disease, for fear of attracting a diagnosis of “SSD” or of being labelled as “catastrophisers.”

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

Application of an additional diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder may impact payment of employment, medical and disability insurance and the length of time for which insurers are prepared to pay out. It may negatively influence the perceptions of agencies involved with the assessment and provision of social care, disability adaptations, education and workplace accommodations.

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 behavioural therapies.

For multi-system diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Behçet’s syndrome or Systemic lupus it 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.

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

Proposals allow for the application of a diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder where a parent is considered excessively concerned with a child’s symptoms [3]. Families caring for children with any chronic illness may be placed at increased risk of wrongful accusation of “over-involvement” with a child’s symptomatology.

Where a parent is perceived as encouraging maintenance of “sick role behaviour” in a child, this may provoke social services investigation or court intervention for removal of a sick child out of the home environment and into foster care or for enforced in-patient “rehabilitation.” This is already happening in families with a child or young person with chronic illness, notably with Chronic fatigue syndrome or ME. It may happen more frequently with a diagnosis of a chronic childhood illness + SSD.

Dustbin diagnosis?

Although the Work Group is not proposing to classify Chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS and fibromyalgia, per se, within the Somatic Symptom Disorders, patients with CFS – “almost a poster child for medically unexplained symptoms as a diagnosis,” according to Dr Dimsdale’s presentation – or with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic Lyme disease, Gulf War illness, chemical injury and chemical sensitivity may be particularly vulnerable to misapplication or misdiagnosis with a mental health disorder under these SSD criteria.

There is considerable concern that this new Somatic Symptom Disorder category will provide a “dustbin diagnosis” in which to shovel the so-called “functional somatic syndromes.”

15% of “diagnosed illness” and 26% of “functional somatic” captured by SSD criteria

For testing reliability of CSSD criteria, three groups were studied for the field trials:

488 healthy patients; a “diagnosed illness” group of 205 patients with cancer and malignancy (some in this group were said to have severe coronary disease) and a “functional somatic” group comprising 94 people with irritable bowel and “chronic widespread pain” (a term used synonymously with fibromyalgia).

Patients in the study were required to meet one to three cognitions: Do you often worry about the possibility that you have a serious illness? Do you have the feeling that people are not taking your illness seriously enough? Is it hard for you to forget about yourself and think about all sorts of other things?

Dr Dimsdale reports that if the response was “Yes – a lot.” then [CSSD] was coded.

15% of the cancer and malignancy group met SSD criteria when “one of the B type criteria” was required; if the threshold was increased to “two B type criteria” about 10% met criteria for dual-diagnosis of diagnosed illness + Somatic Symptom Disorder.

For the 94 irritable bowel and “chronic widespread pain” study group, about 26% were coded when one cognition was required; 13% coded with two cognitions required.

Has the SSD Work Group produced projections for prevalence estimates and potential increase in mental health diagnoses across the entire disease landscape?

Did the Work Group seek opinion on the medico-legal implications of missed diagnoses?

Has the group factored for the clinical and economic burden of providing CBT for modifying perceived “dysfunctional and maladaptive beliefs about symptoms and disease, and behavioral techniques to alter illness and sick role behaviors” in patients for whom an additional diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder has been coded?

Where’s the science?

Dr Dimsdale admits his committee has struggled from the outset with these B type criteria but feels its proposals are “a step in the right direction.”

The group reports that preliminary analysis of field trial results shows “good reliability between clinicians and good agreement between clinician rated and patient rated severity.” In the trials, CSSD achieved Kappa values of .60 (.41-.78 Confidence Interval).

Kappa reliability reflects agreement in rating by two different clinicians corrected for chance agreement – it does not mean that what they have agreed upon are valid constructs.

Radical change to the status quo needs grounding in scientifically validated constructs and a body of rigorous studies not on pet theories and papers (in some cases unpublished papers) generated by Dr Dimsdale’s work group colleagues.

Where is the substantial body of independent research evidence to support the group’s proposals?

“...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 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.

Where are the professionals?

During the second public review, the Somatic Symptom Disorders proposals attracted more responses than almost any other category. The SSD Work Group is aware that patients, caregivers and patient advocacy organizations have considerable concerns. But are medical and allied health professionals scrutinizing these proposals?

This is the last opportunity to submit feedback. Psychiatric and non psychiatric clinicians, primary care practitioners and specialists, allied health professionals, psychologists, counselors, social workers, lawyers, patient advocacy organizations – please look very hard at these proposals, consider their safety and the implications for an additional diagnosis of an SSD for all patient illness groups and weigh in with your comments by June 15.

Criteria and rationales for the third iteration of proposals for the DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorders categories can be found here on the DSM-5 Development site. [Update: Proposals were removed from the DSM-5 Development website on November 15, 2012.]

References

1 Levenson JL. The Somatoform Disorders: 6 Characters in Search of an Author. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2011 Sep;34(3):515-24.

2 Dimsdale JE. Medically Unexplained Symptoms: A Treacherous Foundation for Somatoform Disorders? Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2011 Sep;34(3):511-3.

3 Dimsdale J, Creed F. DSM-V Workgroup on Somatic Symptom Disorders: the proposed diagnosis of somatic symptom disorders in DSM-V to replace somatoform disorders in DSM-IV – a preliminary report. J Psychosom Res 2009;66:473–6.

4 DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group Disorder Descriptions and Justification of Criteria-Somatic Symptoms documents, published May 4, 2011 for the second DSM-5 stakeholder review.

(Caveat: for background to the SSD Work Group’s rationales only; proposals and criteria as set out in these documents have not been revised to reflect changes to revisions or reissued for the third review.)

    Disorder Descriptions   May 4, 2011

    Rationale/Validity Document   May 4, 2011

© Copyright 2015 Suzy Chapman

DSM-5 in New Scientist: Psychiatry’s new diagnostic bible is creating headaches for doctors and patients alike

DSM-5 in New Scientist: “Psychiatry’s new diagnostic bible is creating headaches for doctors and patients alike”

Post #171 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-293

A reminder that this third and final stakeholder review and comment period is scheduled to close on June 15.

On May 17, APA added the following statement to the home page of the DSM-5 Development site.

APA Position Statement on DSM-5 Draft Diagnostic Criteria

The official position of the APA on draft DSM-5 diagnostic criteria is that they are not to be used for clinical or billing purposes under any circumstances. They are published on the http://www.dsm5.org Web site to obtain feedback on these preliminary DSM-5 Task Force proposals from mental health professionals, patients, and the general public. They have not received official reviews or approval by the APA Board of Trustees and will not be available for clinical use or billing purposes until May 2013.

Two articles in this week’s online and print editions of New Scientist.

The first report, by Peter Aldhous, quotes Allen Frances, MD, who had chaired the development of the DSM-IV; APA research director and DSM-5 Task Force Vice Chair, Darrel Regier, and Dr Dayle Jones who is tracking DSM-5 for the American Counseling Association, on DSM-5 field trial kappa results and the relegation of Attenuated psychosis syndrome and Mixed anxiety/depression to the DSM-5 appendix.

This article is behind a paywall or a subscription to the print edition.

New Scientist 19 May 2012

Page 6 print edition

THIS WEEK/MENTAL HEALTH

Psychiatry’s new diagnostic bible is creating headaches for doctors and patients alike

Online title Trials highlight worrying flaws in psychiatry ‘bible’

Peter Aldhous

Diagnosis: uncertain

HOW reliable is reliable enough?

The second article, “OPINION ‘Label jars, not people”, by James Davies, is accessible on the New Scientist website without payment or print edition subscription.

New Scientist 19 May 2012

Page 7 print edition

OPINION | James Davies

James Davies is a senior lecturer in social anthropology and psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton, London

‘Label jars, not people’

“LABEL jars, not people” and “stop medicalising the normal symptoms of life” read placards, as hundreds of protesters – including former patients, academics and doctors – gathered to lobby the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual meeting.

The demonstration aimed to highlight the harm the protesters believe psychiatry is perpetrating in the name of healing. One concern is that while psychiatric medications are more widely prescribed than almost any drugs in history, they often don’t work well and have debilitating side effects. Psychiatry also professes to respect human rights, while regularly treating people against their will. Finally, psychiatry keeps expanding its list of disorders without solid scientific justification…

Read full article

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