Recent changes to ICD-11 Beta drafting platform for “Bodily distress disorder”

Post #307 Shortlink:

This post updates on further changes in the public version of the ICD-11 Beta drafting platform to the listing of proposed new ICD category, Bodily distress disorder.

Caveat: The ICD-11 Beta draft is not a static document: it is a work in progress, subject to daily edits and revisions, to field test evaluation and to approval by Topic Advisory Group Managing Editors, the International Advisory Group, the ICD Revision Steering Group and WHO classification experts. “Sorting codes” assigned to categories are subject to frequent change as chapters and categories are reorganized.

The revision of the Somatoform disorders categories has undergone a number of iterations since the release of the initial iCAT drafting platform, in May 2010.

Two working groups

The ICD-11 Expert Working Group on Somatic Distress and Dissociative Disorders (S3DWG) is one of two WHO convened groups charged with making recommendations for the revision of the ICD-10 Somatoform disorders categories.

The second group, the Primary Care Consultation Group (PCCG), leads the development of the revision of the mental and behavioural disorders publication known as “ICD-10 PHC”.

The PCCG is making recommendations for the revision of ICD-10 PHC’s primary care diagnostic category, F45 Unexplained somatic symptoms/medically unexplained symptoms. Disorders included in the abridged primary care version will require an equivalent category within the core ICD-11 classification.


What has the S3DWG work group been proposing?

The S3DWG has proposed Bodily distress disorder as a single diagnostic category to replace all of the ICD-10 Somatoform disorders between F45.0 – F45.9 and F48.0 Neurasthenia [1].

So initially, in the drafting platform, these ICD-10 legacy categories were removed.

As the Beta draft stood in mid 2013, Bodily distress disorder had been assigned three, uniquely coded severity specifiers: Mild BDD, Moderate BDD and Severe BDD. These were then reduced to just two: Bodily distress disorder and Severe bodily distress disorder.

So in January 2014, the Beta drafting platform had stood like this:

BDD at 02.02.14

Source: ICD-11 Beta drafting platform at January 29, 2014


On February 18, I reported that Severe bodily distress disorder was no longer listed in the Beta drafting platform and had been replaced with the ICD-10 legacy category Somatization disorder.

I also reported that the ICD-10 category, Neurasthenia, previously proposed to be eliminated for both the ICD-11 core and Primary Care versions, had been inserted back into the Beta draft.

It was unclear how these two ICD-10 legacy categories were intended to relate to a single new diagnostic category whose conceptual framework had originally been proposed to replace both of them. The Definition texts displaying for both legacy categories had been imported unedited from ICD-10 and provided no clues to the (evidently revised) proposed framework.

So by February 2014, the draft stood like this:

BDD 240214

Source: ICD-11 Beta drafting platform at February 24, 2014

with Neurasthenia back in the draft under parent Mental and behavioural disorders:


Source: ICD-11 Beta drafting platform at February 24, 2014

Since these changes, there have been several further modifications to the Beta draft:

Circa May 9, 2014:

Somatization disorder remained listed as a uniquely coded child category under Bodily distress disorder, with a definition comprising unedited text imported from the ICD-10 F45.0 classification.

But three uniquely coded severity specifiers had been added back in:

Bodily distress disorder, mild
Bodily distress disorder, moderate
Bodily distress disorder, severe

So by May 9, the Beta draft Joint Linearization for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics looked like this:


*Note that the “Sorting codes” assigned to categories change daily as chapters and category hierarchies are reorganized.

Circa May 15, 2014:

Somatization disorder has now been removed from the Beta draft Linearizations as a uniquely coded child category under Bodily distress disorder.

Somatization disorder is now listed with the ICD-10 term somatoform disorders under Synonyms to Bodily distress disorder and both ICD-10 legacy terms are listed as Index Terms.

Update at June 6, 2014: The ICD-10 legacy terms, Somatoform disorders and somatization disorder are no longer listed under Index Terms to Bodily distress disorder in the Beta drafting platform or print version of the draft Alphabetical Index but remain listed under Synonyms. Both terms have been relocated under Index Terms to 6B4Z Bodily distress disorder, unspecified.

The three severity specifiers for BDD, (Mild, Moderate, Severe) remain.

So at May 27, the Beta draft Joint Linearization for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics looks like this:


Neurasthenia has also been removed from the Beta draft Linearizations. Nor is it listed in the PDF of the print version of the draft Alphabetical Index.

This might suggest that the most recent proposal has reverted back to eliminating Neurasthenia from ICD-11, but to retain both Somatization disorder and the term somatoform disorders under Synonyms to BDD, and as Index Terms (as opposed to retaining and coding specifically for Somatization disorder under new ICD parent term, Bodily distress disorder).

[Neurasthenia remains specified as an Exclusion to Generalized anxiety disorder (currently Chapter 06) and to Fatigue (currently Chapter 20) but this may be an oversight.]

You can view the entry for Bodily distress disorder here, in the Foundation Linearization, which also displays a Definition, Synonyms and Exclusions:

(Click on the small grey arrow to the left of the BDD category term to display the three severity specifiers.)


Current ICD-11 Definition:

A Definition for Bodily distress disorder was inserted around four months ago, but there are no definitions or characterizations inserted yet for any of the three severity specifiers (BDD Mild, Moderate, Severe).

The Definition for Bodily distress disorder remains the same as previously reported:

“Bodily distress disorder is characterized by high levels of preoccupation regarding bodily symptoms, unusually frequent or persistent medical help-seeking, and avoidance of normal activities for fear of damaging the body. These features are sufficiently persistent and distressing to lead to impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The most common symptoms include pain (including musculoskeletal and chest pains, backache, headaches), fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, and respiratory symptoms, although patients may be preoccupied with any bodily symptoms. Bodily distress disorder most commonly involves multiple bodily symptoms, though some cases involve a single very bothersome symptom (usually pain or fatigue).”

The psychological and behavioural features that characterize the disorder, as per this definition, are drawn from disorder conceptualizations in the 2012 Creed, Gureje paper on emerging proposals for Bodily distress disorder.

The paper described a disorder model with good concordance with DSM-5’s Somatic symptom disorder construct and poor concordance with Fink et al’s Bodily Distress Syndrome construct [1,2].


In sum:

At the point of publishing this post, we can say that the public version of the Beta draft displays:

 a single Bodily distress disorder category with three uniquely coded (but as yet uncharacterized) severities replacing all the ICD-10 Somatoform disorders between F45.0 – F45.9 and ICD-10’s Neurasthenia (F48.0);

that the ICD-10 legacy terms, somatoform disorders (F45) and Somatization disorder (F45.0), are listed under Synonyms and under Index Terms to Bodily distress disorder.

Update at June 6, 2014: The ICD-10 legacy terms, Somatoform disorders and somatization disorder are no longer listed under Index Terms to Bodily distress disorder in the Beta drafting platform and print version of the Alphabetical Index but remain listed under Synonyms. Both terms have been relocated under Index Terms to 6B4Z Bodily distress disorder, unspecified.

that ICD-10’s Neurasthenia is no longer displaying in any Linearization and may remain proposed to be eliminated for ICD-11 (but remains anomalously specified in two chapters as an Exclusion term);

that an ICD-11 Definition for Bodily distress disorder has been entered into the draft, the wording for which is based on disorder conceptualizations in the 2012 paper: Creed F, Gureje O. Emerging themes in the revision of the classification of somatoform disorders. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2012 Dec;24(6):556-67.

Apart from scrutinizing the Definition, that is all we can safely determine about the current, proposed construct of Bodily distress disorder, in the context of ICD-11’s deployment of the term, solely from the content of the public version of the Beta drafting platform.

I’ll be writing more about this Definition and the 2012 proposals by both ICD-11 working groups in the next post (Post #308).

These recent changes are a good example of why the public version of the Beta drafting platform needs to be viewed with the WHO’s caveats in mind – the draft is in a state of flux, it is incomplete, it contains errors, omissions and anomalies and is subject to frequent rejiggery.

The entry for BDD may undergo further changes over the coming year or so and following field trials evaluation.


iCAT ICD Collaborative authoring platform:

Note that ICD Revision staff and external editors are developing the draft on a separate, multi-authoring electronic platform called “iCAT ICD Collaborative authoring tool” — a platform considerably more technically sophisticated than the version of the draft that the public sees. In the editors’ version, more Content Model parameters display and there are tabs for change histories, category notes and discussions, and for reviews of proposals. 

So revisions to category chapter locations, hierarchies, internal and external peer review of proposals, drafting and revisions of textual content and rationales for these revisions can be tracked by users of the platform with editing rights or viewing access. The absence of this level of detail in the public version of the draft makes it very difficult for stakeholders to monitor changes and rationales for changes, or to account for missing or no longer displaying category terms.

iCAT ICD Collaborative authoring platform screencast:

This link ICD-11 iCAT screencast will open a 1:55 minute animated screencast intended as a demo for iCAT users but in the public domain. It shows the iCAT platform that the Managing Editors for the various chapters of ICD-11 are developing the draft on. Note the larger number of function tabs along the top of the screen and at 17 secs in, note the larger number of Content Model tabs load under “Details for Test 1” in the category description pane, on the right.

What you see in the Beta draft is a cut down version for public viewing and public interaction that omits many of the functions and much of the detail of the ICD Revision iCAT platform.

To be continued in Post #308.


1. Creed F, Gureje O. Emerging themes in the revision of the classification of somatoform disorders. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2012 Dec;24(6):556-67. [Abstract: PMID: 23244611]

2. Fink P, Schröder A. One single diagnosis, bodily distress syndrome, succeeded to capture 10 diagnostic categories of functional somatic syndromes and somatoform disorders. J Psychosom Res. 2010 May;68(5):415-26. [Abstract: PMID: 20403500].


DSM-5 Somatic Symptoms Work Group submissions 2012: Last chance to tell SSD Work Group why it needs to ditch flawed, unsafe and unscientific proposals

DSM-5 Somatic Symptoms Work Group submissions 2012: Last chance to tell SSD Work Group why it needs to ditch unsafe and scientifically flawed proposals

Post #165 Shortlink:

Under the guise of “eliminating stigma” and eradicating “terminology [that] enforces a dualism between psychiatric and medical conditions” the American Psychiatric Association appears hell bent on colonising the entire medical field by licensing the application of a mental health diagnosis to all medical diseases and disorders.


Last chance to tell the SSD Work Group why it needs to ditch its unsafe and scientifically flawed proposals

The third DSM-5 Development public review of proposals for revisions to DSM-IV categories and criteria runs through May 2 – June 15. This will be the last opportunity for stakeholders to submit feedback.

Register on the DSM-5 Development site to submit comment or use your previous user name and log in details if you submitted during the earlier reviews. For information on registration see this post from 2011.

One again, I’m collating copies of submissions to the Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group on a dedicated page from international patient organizations, medical, allied health and other professional stakeholders, patients, advocates and professional bodies.

Any consumer groups, medical professionals, allied health professionals, social workers, lawyers etc with concerns for the Somatic Symptom Disorders proposals are welcome to forward copies of submissions for publication here.

If you are looking for submissions for the first and second public reviews, you need these pages:

Submissions to first public review (February 10 – April 20, 2010):

Submissions to second public review (May 4 – July 15, 2011):

This year’s submissions are being collated here as they come to my attention:

DSM-5 SSD Work Group submissions 2012 

Shortlink for submissions page is:

Today I am publishing UK patient and advocate, Peter Kemp’s submission to the SSD Work Group:

Submission from Peter Kemp, UK advocate

How people with M.E. and CFS (and other illnesses) could be misdiagnosed as Somatic Symptom Disorder using DSM-5

Misdiagnosis is a common occurrence by all accounts. Therefore medical definitions or criteria should not only assist diagnosis – they should positively aim to prevent or reduce misdiagnosis.

Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) as proposed for DSM-5 allows too many possibilities for misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis that could have disastrous consequences. This is so readily foreseeable that this must be addressed.

Once a physician diagnoses SSD, they have effectively judged the patient incompetent to interpret their own symptoms. If the patient has an unrecognised disease that progresses, or develops a new disease and reports the new symptoms to the doctor, what will the doctor do? The patient is untrustworthy. The doctor is busy and has ‘real’ patients to treat.

It is inevitable that even patients that are correctly diagnosed with SSD will sooner or later present with actual physical disease. The diagnosis of SSD could predictably obstruct investigation and treatment of their disease. This obstruction could be directly attributed to the use of an SSD diagnosis.

SSD should not be included in DSM-5 unless specific guidance to prevent misdiagnosis are included and these have been proven effective.

Imagine a doctor with a patient presenting in the early stages of MS. MS can be difficult to diagnose. When Professor Poser reviewed 366 MS diagnoses made by board certified neurologists, he found that only 65% had been correctly diagnosed ( ).

It can take years before the signs, symptoms and tests are clear enough to make a diagnosis ( ). The symptoms of ‘pre-diagnosis’ MS can be very distressing and the lack of a laboratory test or firm diagnosis may add to a patient’s worries. The patient may try all sorts of strategies to try and find out about, and improve what is happening to them. They may appear to pester their GP, they may appear neurotic and irrational.

Now imagine that in accordance with DSM-5, a doctor gives them a diagnosis of the proposed SSD. The patient has an official diagnosis in their medical records that amounts to ‘hypochondriac’. What effect will that have on the patient’s chances of getting the necessary investigations as the disease progresses? How is it going to help them to cope with their distressing physical symptoms now they have been explained as psychosomatic? The time it will take for them to get a true diagnosis may be further prolonged, and the years spent waiting could be made even more harrowing because of inaccurate psychological labelling.

Therefore sensible doctors will avoid diagnosing SSD. Foolish doctors risk spending their time at professional disciplinary hearings and in court; and this still might not adequately reflect the amount of suffering their diagnosis of SSD could cause.

The rationale for SSD also states: The proposed classification for Somatic Symptom Disorders deemphasizes the central role of medically unexplained symptoms. Instead, it defines disorders on the basis of positive symptoms (distressing somatic symptoms + excessive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in response to these symptoms).”

I believe it safe to say that ‘positive symptoms’ does not mean ‘good symptoms’ or ‘symptoms with the right attitude’. I imagine it means definite, definable, testable and maybe even measurable. But when terms like ‘distressing’ and ‘excessive’ are used to measure symptoms, the definition is not a definition. It is not even a convincing concept.

The idea is right, to base the definition on signs and symptoms that are actually present, as long as these sufficiently differentiate the condition from other conditions and do not lead to too many misdiagnoses. Unfortunately, they would predictably fail to achieve this because the definition proposed is significantly subjective.

The ‘DSM-5 Proposed Revision’ could certainly misdiagnose M.E. This would be a serious matter as M.E. is classified by the WHO ICD as a neurological illness. A doctor whose diagnosis of SSD was contradicted by a doctor that diagnosed M.E could find themselves in an awkward legal situation. The implications to the proper care of a patient, due to misdiagnosing a serious neurological illness as a neurotic illness hardly bear thinking about. Hindering necessary investigations and treatment might only be a small part of the problems this might create.

The latest proposal states:

Somatic Symptom Disorder

Criteria A, B, and C must all be fulfilled to make the diagnosis:”

“A. Somatic symptoms: One or more somatic symptoms that are distressing and/or result in significant disruption in daily life.”

The Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria – states:

“A patient will meet the criteria for post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (A), at least one symptom from three neurological impairment categories (B), at least one symptom from three immune/gastro-intestinal/genitourinary impairment categories (C), and at least one symptom from energy metabolism/transport impairments (D).”

The Canadian Expert Consensus Panel Clinical Case Definition for ME/CFS states:

“A patient with ME/CFS will meet the criteria for fatigue, post-exertional malaise and/or fatigue, sleep dysfunction, and pain; have two or more neurological/cognitive manifestations and one or more symptoms from two of the categories of autonomic, neuroendocrine and immune manifestations; and adhere to item 7.”

Therefore every patient with M.E. or CFS or ME/CFS will present with ample distressing and disruptive symptoms to satisfy DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder Part A.

“B. Excessive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to these somatic symptoms or associated health concerns: At least one of the following must be present.

(1) Disproportionate and persistent thoughts about the seriousness of one’s symptoms.
(2) Persistently high level of anxiety about health or symptoms
(3) Excessive time and energy devoted to these symptoms or health concerns”

The NICE Guidelines for CFS/ME state:
( )

“People with mild CFS/ME are mobile, can care for themselves and can do light domestic tasks with difficulty. Most are still working or in education, but to do this they have probably stopped all leisure and social pursuits. They often take days off, or use the weekend to cope with the rest of the week.”

Therefore even the mildest form of CFS sees persons who have often greatly reduced or stopped socializing, hobbies, sports etc.; and spend much of the time formerly devoted to these pursuits in resting and recuperating their energy to continue working.

When this level of disruptive illness goes on for more than 6 months, people will naturally and rationally become worried. They will be fearful of what is happening and what is going to happen. They will be anxious about their responsibilities, their job, their family and friend connections – everything. They may quite naturally seek help from their GP. They may be given antidepressants, sleeping medications, pain killers, etc. All these combined with a chronic illness necessitate frequent visits to their GP. They may try alternative therapies (possibly after having found what their GP offered did not help them). They may alter their diet, take nutritional supplements, go for acupuncture, homeopathy or other type of therapy.

And here is the rub; if one does not believe they are actually physically ill, their ‘thoughts, feelings and behaviours’ will certainly appear ‘excessive’. This could apply not just to CFS, but many other high impact and distressing illnesses.

The ‘Rationale’ for SSD states: “Undifferentiated Somatoform Disorder has such a low threshold that it is applicable to a very large proportion of patients attending primary care. The same low threshold issue occurs with Somatoform Disorder NOS.”

The proposed definition does not address this problem. It might actually make it worse. If doctors believe that SSD has a valid definition they may start actually using it – then God help us.

If a person with just ‘mild’ CFS is justified in being worried, justified in resting so they can keep working, justified in searching for something that will improve their health – then anyone with the illnesses mentioned could meet the criteria to satisfy DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder Part B.

The only proviso is that to some extent this could depend on interpretation of the subjective aspects of part B (there may be more detailed explanations elsewhere – this essay is based on what is included here). What is ‘excessive’, ‘persistantly’, ‘disproportionate’, ‘seriousness’?*

The same ‘Rationale’ for SSD remarks on: “The lack of positive psychological features in the definition”. Unfortunately the proposed criteria attempt to define “positive psychological features” based entirely upon a physician’s subjectivity. That is not, in any sense, a definition.

This is why I believe the circular-reasoning trap constructed with SSD makes it risible. They construct a concept for SSD. They construct criteria for the concept. Chicken-egg or egg-chicken, take your pick.

The problem with this approach is that it does not IDENTIFY the psychological condition they are trying to define. SSD cannot exist only by differentiating features, this is true. Yet differentiating is an essential step. SSD must discern from other anxiety or depressive disorders. It must be discern from normal or rational anxiety, whether that anxiety is acute, chronic or fluctuating. It must discern from anxiety or depressive disorders due to neurological illness or injury. It must discern from physical illness that has not yet been diagnosed, or from physical illness for which diagnosis is complex or often delayed. It must discern from new or emerging diseases. If SSD cannot discern from these, then misdiagnosis could be a common and predictable result.

The criteria should define the disorder but they don’t. They attempt to define the criteria. The disorder should inform the criteria, but it doesn’t. The disorder is lost in a confusion of subjective terms, ‘excessive’, ‘persistantly’, ‘disproportionate’, ‘seriousness’.

The only way it can work is if someone (and here’s another trap); someone who believes that SSD exists and is defined by the DSM, decides what ‘excessive’ and ‘disproportionate’ etc., mean. Then all they have to do, is reach exactly the same conclusion that every other physician using the DSM would reach in the same position. Bingo. A diagnosis that does not mean anything other than what the ‘diagnoser’ decides that it means. And they better hope they got it right, otherwise a good lawyer will wipe the floor with them.

“C. Chronicity: Although any one symptom may not be continuously present, the state of being symptomatic is persistent (typically >6 months).”

This is either synchronicity, or they got this direct from the NICE Guidelines for ‘CFS/ME’. The NICE Guidelines ‘Making a diagnosis’ state:

“The range of presenting symptoms is wide, and fatigue and pain may not always be the prominent disabling features at initial presentation.”

“Symptoms tend to vary in intensity and type over a period of weeks or months (and evolve into what is more clearly CFS/ME with time)”

Mild CFS will satisfy DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder Part C. Therefore every person with M.E. or CFS could get a diagnosis of SSD unless they can convince any psychiatrist they encounter that they are not ‘excessive’, ‘persistent’, ‘disproportionate’, or that they don’t believe they are seriously ill.

A serious anomaly might arise with SSD in both M.E. and CFS. These illnesses can start with only fatigue or just a few symptoms. Extreme fatigue and pain might be all that a patient reports. However, if the illness continues over years, some symptoms may improve whilst new ones appear. Problems such as sensory impairments, bladder and bowel problems, immune dysfunction, and a host of neurological symptoms (to name but a few) can develop.

Will the M.E. or CFS patient then be vulnerable to having their previous diagnosis ‘cancelled-out’ by a new diagnosis of SSD, because they developed too many symptoms and are worried about them?

The SSD development group have repeated previous flaws they identified as creating the need for new definitions. They have not defined anything. Yet there may be some positive outcome from their efforts. I imagine that some medical insurance company executives must be rubbing their hands together in glee, but medical negligence lawyers should be turning cartwheels.

Peter Kemp

*Editor: Accompanying the first and second release of draft proposals for the Somatic Symptom Disorders categories, two quite lengthy PDF documents that expanded on the disorder descriptions and validity/rationales were published in conjunction with the webpage Proposed Revision, Rationale and Severity texts.

For this third draft, no PDFs have been published that reflect the Work Group’s revisons since release of the second draft, last May, or set out its rationales in detail. No draft DSM-5 textual content, more comprehensive disorder descriptions or field trial evaluations are available for public scrutiny other than brief, revised Rationale texts:

Criteria for Proposed Revision J00 Somatic Symptom Disorder

Rationale text for category J00 Somatic Symptom Disorder:

Related material:

1] DSM-5 proposals for Somatoform Disorders revised on April 27, 2012

2] DSM-5 Development site

3] Somatic Symptom Disorders proposals

“Bodily Distress Disorders” to replace “Somatoform Disorders” for ICD-11?

“Bodily Distress Disorders” to replace “Somatoform Disorders” for ICD-11?

Post #145 Shortlink:

The information in this report relates only to proposals for the WHO’s forthcoming ICD-11; it does not relate to ICD-10 or to the forthcoming US specific “clinical modification” of ICD-10, known as ICD-10-CM.

Codes assigned to ICD-11 Beta draft categories are subject to change as chapter reorganization progresses. Images and text in this posting may not reflect the most recently assigned codes. This post has been updated to reflect the launch of the Beta drafting platform and revisions to codes assigned during the drafting process as they stand at June 24, 2012.

Part One


This report contains an important update on proposals for ICD-11 Chapter 5: Mental and behavioural disorders.

In a February 16, 2012 report by Tom Sullivan for Health Care Finance News, Christopher Chute, MD, who chairs the ICD Revision Steering Group, warned of a possible delay for completion of ICD-11 from 2015 to 2016.

The ICD-11 Beta drafting platform was launched in May 2012.

The Beta drafting platform is a publicly viewable browser similar to the Alpha drafting platform that had been in the public domain since May, 2011.

You can view the Beta Drafting Browser here:

Foundation Component view:

Morbidity Linearization view:

The Morbidity Linearization is the view that includes (what may be temporarily assigned) sorting codes. These codes are likely to change as chapter organization progresses. Click on the small grey arrows next to the chapters and categories to display parent > child > grandchildren hierarchies. Click on individual terms to display descriptive content in the right hand frame of the Beta Browser.

Textual content for ICD-11 is in the process of being drafted and the population of content for some chapters is more advanced than others. Content for some of the “ICD-11 Content Model” parameters may display: ID legacy code from ICD-10 (where applicable); Parent(s); Definition; Synonyms; Inclusions; Narrower Terms; Exclusions; Body Site; Causal Mechanism; Signs and Symptoms.

(For ICD-11, entities will be defined across all chapters through up to 13 “Content Model” parameters – considerably more descriptive content than in ICD-10 and a significant workload for the Topic Advisory Group members and managers who are generating the content for ICD-11.)

The Beta Browser User Guide is here:

This page of the User Guide sets out differences between Foundation view and Morbidity Linearization view.

The various ICD Revision Topic Advisory Groups (TAGs) are carrying out their work on a separate, more complex, multi-author drafting platform. On their platform, editing histories and “Category and Discussion Notes” are recorded so the progress of proposals and reorganization of ICD entities can be tracked, as the draft evolves.

For the Beta drafting platform, interested stakeholders may register for increased access and interaction with the drafting process by submitting comments and suggestions on draft content and proposals.

For those registered for increased access, it is possible to download PDFs of drafts for the “Print Versions for the ICD-11 Beta Morbidity Linearization” for all 25 chapters of ICD-11. These are obtainable, once registered and logged in, from the Linearization > Print Versions tab.


I’m going to reiterate the ICD-11 Alpha Browser Caveats because it’s important to understand that the ICD-11 Beta draft is a work in progress – not a static document – and is subject to change.

The draft is updated on a (usually) daily basis; when you view the Beta Browser, you are viewing a “snapshot” of how the publicly viewable draft stood at the end of the previous day; not all chapters are as advanced as others for reorganization or population of content; the draft is incomplete and may contain errors and omissions.

The codes and “sorting labels” assigned to ICD parent classes, child and grandchildren terms are subject to change as reorganization of the chapters progresses. The Beta draft has not yet been approved by the Topic Advisory Groups, Revision Steering Group or WHO and proposals for, and content in the draft may not progress to the Beta drafting stage; field trials have not yet been completed – so be mindful of the fact that the draft is in a state of flux.

As it currently stands, the Beta draft lacks clarity; not all textual content will have been generated and uploaded for terms imported from ICD-10 and there may be no definitions or other textual content displaying for proposed new terms.

Two chapters that are a focus of this site are Chapter 5: Mental and behavioural disorders and Chapter 6: Disorders of the nervous system (the Neurology chapter). (ICD-11 is dropping the use of Roman numerals.)

I won’t be reporting on specific categories in Chapter 6 in this post but will do a follow up post for Chapter 6 in a forthcoming post; again, there is a lack of clarity for Chapter 6 and requests for specific clarifications, last year, from the chair of Topic Advisory Group Neurology and the lead WHO Secretariat for TAG Neurology have met with no response.

Continued on Page 2: Somatoform Disorders in ICD-10; Somatoform Disorders to Bodily Distress Disorders for ICD-11?

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