Rapid Responses to BMJ DSM-5 ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ opposition piece

Rapid Responses to Allen Frances’ BMJ opposition piece on DSM-5‘s ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’

Post #230 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2HN

Update March 28: Currently 27 BMJ Rapid Responses have been published. BMJ has also launched a Poll asking readers to vote on: “Will the new DSM-5 lead to patients being mislabelled as mentally ill?” Vote on this page

Update March 26: a tautology that serves no useful purpose… 1 Boring Old man on SSD

On March 20, BMJ published a commentary on the DSM-5 ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ by Allen Frances, MD, with contribution from Dx Revision Watch, strongly opposing the inclusion of this new, poorly tested disorder in the forthcoming DSM-5, scheduled for publication on May 22.

Dr Frances is professor emeritus, Duke, and had chaired of the Task Force for DSM-IV.

Article here:

PERSONAL VIEW

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

This new condition suggested in the bible of mental health diagnoses lacks specificity, says Allen Frances

The opinion piece is also featured in this week’s “Editor’s Choice”:

Editor’s Choice
US Editor’s Choice

DSM-5 and the rough ride from approval to publication

Edward Davies, US news and features editor, BMJ

Rapid Responses to the BMJ article can be read here:

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1580?tab=responses

24 Rapid Responses have been published. I am publishing both my submissions, below:

Suzy Chapman
Patient advocate

27 March 2013

What evidence for safety of application of SSD in children?

Extracts from Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group ‘Disorders Description’ document, published May 2011, for the second DSM-5 stakeholder review [1]:

“The presentation of these symptoms may vary across the lifespan. A corroborative historian with a life course perspective may provide important information for both the elderly and for children.”

“PFAMC [Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition]* can occur across the lifespan. Particularly with young children, corroborative history from parents or school can assist the diagnostic evaluation.”

“In the elderly somatic symptoms and comorbid medical illnesses are more common, and thus a focus on criteria B becomes more important. In the young child, the ‘B criteria’ may be principally expressed by the parent.”

It appears, then, that the ‘B type’ Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) criteria are intended for application where the parent(s) of a child with chronic somatic symptoms are perceived to be expressing ‘excessive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors,’ or ‘disproportionate and persistent concerns,’ or ‘maladaptive’ coping strategies; or considered to be devoting ‘excessive time and energy’ to [a child’s] symptoms or health concerns or demonstrating ‘dysfunctional and maladaptive beliefs’ about symptoms or disease.

There is no evidence that SSD or PFAMC have been field tested by APA or by any other group for safety and reliability of application in children and young people.

If the finalized criteria sets and texts for this section allow for the application of a diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder where a parent is considered to be excessively concerned with a child’s symptoms, families caring for children with any chronic disease or condition may be placed at risk of wrongful accusation of ‘over-involvement’ with a child’s symptomatology.

Where a parent is perceived as enabling ‘maintenance of sick role behaviour’ in a child or young person this can provoke a devastating cascade of intervention: placement or threat of placement on the ‘at risk register’; social services and child protection investigation; in some cases, court intervention for removal of a sick child out of the home environment and into foster care or for enforced in-patient rehabilitation against the wishes of the family.

This is already happening in the UK, USA and currently in Denmark, in families with a child or young person with chronic illness or disability, notably with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME. It may happen more frequently in families where a diagnosis of chronic childhood illness + SSD has been applied.

This section of DSM-5, seemingly overlooked by clinicians in the field, both within and outside psychiatry and psychosomatics and by medico-legal and disability specialists demands urgent scrutiny and investigation.

*Note: In DSM-IV-TR, PFAMC is located in the Appendix under ‘Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention.’ For DSM-5, PFAMC is being relocated to the mental disorders classifications and coded under the new section ‘Somatic Symptoms and Related Disorders’ that replaces DSM-IV-TR’s ‘Somatoform Disorders.’

References:

1 Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group ‘Disorders Description’ document, second stakeholder review, May 2011
Competing interests: I reviewed and provided comment and suggestions for this BMJ commentary by Allen Frances, MD. I run a website that archives and reports on DSM-5 and ICD-11 activities.

+++
Suzy Chapman
Patient advocate

26 March 2013

Dichotomy

I am puzzled by the disconnect between the cautiousness expressed within this 2011 article by Dr Dimsdale [1] and his work group’s barrelling through with a new construct, which James Phillips notes [2] lacks a high level of empirical support.

Dr Dimsdale is evidently aware of the perils of over diagnosing mental illness and identifies inter alia that a number of factors influence the accuracy of diagnoses: that one must consider how thorough was the physician’s evaluation; how adequate the physician’s knowledge base in synthesizing the information obtained from the history and physical examination; that time pressures in primary care make it difficult to comprehensively evaluate patients and thus contribute to delays and slips in diagnosis; that physicians can wear blinders or have tunnel vision in evaluating patients – that just because a patient has previously had MUS [Medically Unexplained Symptoms] that there is no guarantee that the patient has yet another MUS; that diagnoses are shaped by the state of medical knowledge at the time when the patient is evaluated; that new diseases are constantly arising; that aetiologies are eventually established for diseases that have previously not been well understood.

Yet the group is proposing to operationalize an entirely new disorder of its own devising, using highly subjective criteria for which no significant body of research into reliability, validity and safety has been published, that will capture adults, children, adolescents and elderly people with diverse illnesses.

Whilst it was welcomed that for the third iteration, the chronicity criteria of “greater than one month” was removed with the merging of SSSD [Simple Somatic Symptom Disorder] with CSSD  [Complex Somatic Symptom Disorder], it is of considerable concern that in order to accommodate SSSD within the CSSD criteria, the “B type” threshold has been reduced from “at least two” to “at least one,” thereby potentially increasing prevalence.

It is also of considerable concern that no data on prevalence estimates were available for the second and third draft review and no data on impact of different thresholds for the “B type” criteria.

In light of the field trial findings, it is also of concern that the SSD work group has yet to publish any projections for prevalence estimates and the potential increase in mental health diagnoses across the entire disease landscape, nor on the projected clinical and economic burden of providing CBT and similar therapies for patients for whom an additional diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder is assigned.

Given the majority of mental health disorders are diagnosed and treated within primary care and non-psychiatric settings, it is remarkable that the Task Force failed to recruit any general practitioners or clinicians outside the field of psychiatry and psychosomatics to serve on this work group, nor a medico-legal specialist.

In a counterpoint response to Allen Frances’ May 2012 New York Times Op-Ed piece, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) stated:

“…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.”

The Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders chapter is one section for which substantial changes to existing definitions and criteria are being introduced but with no body of rigorous evidence to support the SSD construct – a construct already influencing proposals for a new ICD classification, “Bodily Distress Disorder” for the World Health Organization’s ICD-11 and ICD-11-PHC (primary care) version, to replace several of ICD-10’s existing Somatoform Disorder categories.

During the second public review of draft criteria for DSM-5, the ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ section received more submissions from advocacy organizations, patients, and professionals than almost any other disorder category. But rather than tighten up the criteria or subject the entire disorder section to independent scientific review, the SSD Work Group’s response was to lower the threshold even further – potentially pulling even more patients under a mental disorder label.

In February, Dr Dimsdale told journalist, Susan Donaldson James, for ABC News:

“…If it doesn’t work, we’ll fix it in the DSM-5.1 or DSM-6.” [3]

APA says there will be opportunities to reassess and revise DSM-5’s new disorders, post publication, and that it intends to start work on a DSM-5.1 release. Patient groups, advocates and professionals are not reassured by APA’s ‘publish first – patch later’ approach to science.

Dr Dimsdale has described his group’s revision as “a step in the right direction.” But DSM-5 appears hell bent on stumbling blindly from the “treacherous foundation” of ‘medically unexplained’ into the quicksands of loose, unvalidated constructs.

The appropriate response would be for APA to pull this disorder out of the main diagnostic section, now, before its new manual rolls off the presses and relocate under the “V codes.”

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

2 BMJ Rapid Response: http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1580/rr/637773

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

Competing interests: I reviewed and provided comment and suggestions for this BMJ commentary by Allen Frances, MD. I run a website that archives and reports on DSM-5 and ICD-11 activities.

Related content

The President’s Message in the Spring edition of The National Forum, newsletter of the National CFIDS Foundation Inc. (Vol. 18, No. 4 Spring 2013) is devoted to the DSM-5 SSD issue and can also be read here on their website.

Allen Frances, MD, blogs at DSM 5 in Distress, and Saving Normal at Psychology Today.

Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder December 8, 2012

Bad News DSM-5 Refuses To Correct Somatic Symptom Disorder January 16, 2013

For additional commentary on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’:

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis by Suzy Chapman for Dx Revision Watch, May 26, 2012

‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ – the most ubiquitous mental health diagnosis you never heard of

‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ – the most ubiquitous mental health diagnosis you never heard of

Lead psychiatrist for DSM-IV voices opposition to DSM-5’s new ‘catch-all’ criteria in BMJ, today

Post #229 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2GI

Update: Rapid Responses to the BMJ article can be read here:

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1580?tab=responses

+++
The opinion piece published under BMJ’s “Personal View” section, on Wednesday, is now featured in this week’s “Editor’s Choice”:

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1918

Editor’s Choice
US Editor’s Choice

DSM-5 and the rough ride from approval to publication

BMJ2013;346doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1918 (Published 22 March 2013)

Edward Davies, US news and features editor, BMJ

Update: Media coverage for BMJ article:

Times of India

Eat or surf a lot? You risk being labelled mentally ill

Malathy Iyer, TNN | Mar 24, 2013

…Earlier this week, American psychiatrist Allen Frances, who helped devise the fourth edition of the manual (DSM-IV), lashed out against the new installment in the British Medical Journal. “It risks mislabelling a sizeable number of population as mentally ill,” Frances wrote.

He is disturbed about a new introduction called ‘somatic symptom disorder’ that will need only one bodily symptom distressing or disrupting daily life for about six months. “This new category will extend the scope of mental disorder classification by eliminating the requirement that somatic symptoms must be medically unexplained,” he wrote. In a field trial study to check for somatic symptom disorder, the results included 15% of patients with cancer or heart disease and 26% with irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia. “The rate of psychiatric disorder among medically ill patients is unknown, but these rates seem high,” added Frances.

Doctors in India are not too supportive of the somatic symptom disorder…

+++
Medscape Medical News > Psychiatry

DSM-5 Somatic Symptom Disorder Debate Rages On

Deborah Brauser | March 21, 2013

The inclusion of the new somatic symptom disorder category in the soon-to-be-released Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) continues to spark heated debate in the field of psychiatry.

In a “Personal View” published online March 19 in BMJ, Allen Frances, MD, writes that the new disorder could result in “inappropriate diagnoses of mental disorder and inappropriate medical decision making” and urged clinicians to ignore the category completely…

…”The proposed diagnosis is unsupported by any substantial evidence on its likely validity and safety and was strongly opposed by patients, families, caregivers, and advocacy organizations,” he writes.

“Every diagnostic decision is a delicate balancing act between definitions that will result in too much versus too little diagnosis — the DSM-5 work group chose a remarkably sensitive definition that is also remarkably non-specific.”

He adds that clinicians should just ignore this classification altogether…

(Free registration for access to full article.)

Rheumatology Update

New ‘somatic symptom disorder’ captures fibromyalgia

Tony James | March 22, 2013

The new diagnosis of ‘somatic symptom disorder’ due for inclusion in the American Psychiatric Association’s updated diagnostic manual will capture up to a quarter of fibromyalgia patients…

Psychiatry Update (Australia)

Clinicians urged to ignore DSM-5 ‘somatic symptom disorder’

Tony James | March 20, 2013

The chair of the DSM-IV task force has told clinicians to ignore the new diagnosis of ‘somatic symptom disorder’ in DSM-5.

In a strongly-worded critique in this week’s BMJ, Professor Frances said that every diagnostic decision was a delicate balancing act between over-diagnosis and under-diagnosis…

“…The diagnosis of somatic symptom disorder is based on subjective and difficult to measure cognitions that will enable a ‘bolt-on’ diagnosis of mental disorder to be applied to all medical conditions, irrespective of cause.”

Field trials had shown that the new definition captured 15% of patients with cancer or heart disease and 26% with irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia.

(Registered Medical Practitioner site; registration required for access to full article.)

+++
Inform 21

Un nuevo trastorno podría clasificar a millones de personas como enfermos mentales

March 21, 2013

+++
UK Times

The Times Mental Health

Psychologists to fight new list of mental illnesses

Martin Barrow, Health Editor | March 21, 2013

Everyday Health

Why Obsessing Over Physical Symptoms Could Equal Mental Illness

A psychiatrist argues in a new paper that a change in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) could lead to misdiagnosis of people with cancer and heart disease as mentally ill.

Jaimie Dalessio | Everyday Health Staff Writer | March 20, 2013

Come May, everyone with chronic medical illness or long-term pain – from cancer to coronary disease, MS to myalgia, becomes a potential candidate for a new mental health label.

+++

On Wednesday, BMJ publishes a commentary on the DSM-5 ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ by Allen Frances, MD, who chaired the Task Force for DSM-IV, with contribution from Dx Revision Watch:

http://www.bmj.com/uk/comment

Full article available without subscription, here:

http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1580

PDF here:

http://www.bmj.com/highwire/filestream/636761/field_highwire_article_pdf/0/bmj.f1580.full.pdf

PERSONAL VIEW

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

This new condition suggested in the bible of mental health diagnoses lacks specificity, says Allen Frances

Allen Frances chair of the DSM-IV task force

The fuzzy boundary between psychiatry and general medicine is about to experience a seismic shift. The next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is scheduled for release this May amid controversy about many of its new disorders. Among these, DSM-5 introduces a poorly tested diagnosis—somatic symptom disorder—which risks mislabeling a sizeable proportion of the population as mentally ill…

BMJ Media release will be available here:

http://group.bmj.com/group/media/latest-news

Psychiatric creep

For DSM-5, the somatoform disorders section is being dismantled and four rarely used disorders are being replaced by a single new diagnosis, ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder.’

Out go DSM-IV’s rigorous criteria sets and the requirement for multiple symptoms to be medically unexplained; in comes a far looser definition that doesn’t distinguish between ‘medically unexplained’ symptoms or somatic symptoms in association with diagnosed medical illness.

From May, patients with common diseases like cancer, angina, diabetes or multiple sclerosis; with long-term pain, chronic illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia or CFS, or with unexplained conditions that have so far presented with somatic (bodily) symptoms of unclear cause may qualify for an additional mental disorder diagnosis of ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ if the clinician considers they also meet the criteria for ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder,’ and may benefit from treatment.

The SSD criteria set focuses on the psychological impact of persistent, distressing bodily symptoms on the patient’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors and the degree to which their response is considered ‘disproportionate’ or ‘excessive.’

As the criteria stand, this new disorder will potentially result in a ‘bolt-on’ mental health diagnosis being applied to all chronic illnesses and medical conditions if the clinician decides the patient’s response to distressing symptoms is ‘excessive’ or their coping strategies are ‘maladaptive,’ or that they are ‘catastrophising’ or displaying ‘fear avoidance.’ Or if the practitioner feels the patient is spending too much time on the internet researching data, symptoms and treatments, or that their lives have become ‘dominated’ by ‘illness worries,’ they may be vulnerable to an additional diagnosis of SSD.

Patients with chronic, multiple bodily symptoms due to rare conditions or multi-system diseases like Behçet’s syndrome or Systemic lupus, which may take several years to diagnose, will also be vulnerable to misdiagnosis with a mental disorder.

There is no substantial body of research to support the validity, reliability or safety of the ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ diagnosis.

During the second public review of draft criteria for DSM-5, the ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ section received more submissions from advocacy organizations, patients, and professionals than almost any other disorder category. But rather than tighten up the criteria or subject the entire disorder section to independent scientific review, the SSD Work Group’s response has been to lower the threshold even further – potentially pulling even more patients under a mental disorder label.

The ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ Work Group rejected eleventh hour calls from professionals and patients to review its criteria before going to print.

APA says there will be opportunities to reassess and revise DSM-5s new disorders, post publication, and that it intends to start work on a ‘DSM-5.1′ release. Patient groups, advocates and professionals are not reassured by a ‘publish first – patch later’ approach to science.

Notes for media, websites, bloggers:

1. The next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will be published by American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. in May 2013. It will be known as ‘DSM-5′ and has been under development since 1999.
http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx
http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/DSM%205%20development%20factsheet%201-16-13.pdf

2. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has spent $25 million on the development of DSM-5.

3. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used by mental health and medical professionals for diagnosing and coding mental disorders. It is used by psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, counselors, primary health care physicians, nurses, social workers, occupational and rehabilitation therapists and allied health professionals.

The DSM is also used for medical insurance reimbursement and informs government, public health policy, courts and legal specialists, education, forensic science, prisons, drug regulation agencies, pharmaceutical companies and researchers. Diagnostic criteria defined within DSM determine what is considered a mental disorder and what is not, which treatments and therapies health insurers will authorise funding for, and for how long.

4. Four existing disorder categories in the DSM-IV ‘Somatoform Disorders’ section: somatization disorder [300.81], hypochondriasis [300.7], pain disorder, and undifferentiated somatoform disorder [300.82] will be eliminated and replaced with a single new category – ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ for DSM-5.

5. APA has held three stakeholder comment periods during which professional and public stakeholders have been invited to submit comment on the proposals for the revision of DSM-IV categories and criteria (in February-April 2010; May-June 2011; May-June 2012).

6. DSM-5 is slated for release at the American Psychiatric Association’s 166th Annual Meeting, San Francisco (May 18-22, 2013). The new manual is available for pre-order and will cost $199: http://www.psychiatry.org/dsm5

7. Allen Frances, MD, was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC; Dr Frances is currently professor emeritus, Duke.

8. Dr Frances blogs at DSM 5 in Distress, and Saving Normal at Psychology Today.

Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder was published on December 8, 2012

Bad News DSM-5 Refuses To Correct Somatic Symptom Disorder was published on January 16, 2013

For additional information on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’:

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis by Suzy Chapman for Dx Revision Watch, May 26, 2012

Suzy Chapman

DSM-5 Round up: February #1

DSM-5 Round up: February #1

Post #225 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2F7

Update: More recent coverage:

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

Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder

Allen Frances, MD | February 13, 2013

Fox Health News

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

Does somatic symptom disorder really exist?

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

Currents An interactive newsletter of NASW-WA

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

DSM 5 Changes

DSM-5: A Summary of Proposed Changes

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

The Health Care Blog

Mislabeling Medical Illness

Allen Frances, MD | February 12, 2013

Huffington Post Blogger

Bruce E. Levine
Practicing clinical psychologist, writer

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

Bruce E. Levine | February 10, 2013

Earlier coverage:

Huffington Post

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

Bruce E. Levine | February 10, 2013

Practicing clinical psychologist, writer

+++

DIE WELT/Worldcrunch All news is global

Translated (and possibly abridged) from original article in German

Worldcrunch All news is global

Psychiatrists Not Crazy About The Revised Manual Of Mental Disorders

Fanny Jiménez and Christiane Löll | February 5, 2013

+++

Allen Frances, MD, now blogs at Saving Normal.

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

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

DSM 5 Boycotts and Petitions
Too many, too sectarian

Allen Frances, MD | February 8, 2013

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

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

+++

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

Huffington Post

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

Somatic Symptoms Criteria in DSM-5 Improve Diagnosis, Care

David J. Kupfer, MD | February 8, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Christopher Lane, PhD | February 8, 2013

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

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

The Asperger’s effect

Louise Carpenter | February 9 2013

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

+++

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

http://www.simonwessely.com/dsm5.html

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

From doctors.net.uk 1.2.2013

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

Conference:

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

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

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

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

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

Speakers include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dates:

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

* Wednesday 5th June | 09:45 – 17:15

Venue: Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Institute of Psychiatry

This event is CPD Certified

DSM-5 goes to press with ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ amid widespread professional and consumer concern

DSM-5 goes to press with ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ amid widespread professional and consumer concern

Post #224 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2EV

Update: On February 8, David J. Kupfer, MD, Chair, DSM-5 Task Force, published in defence of the ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ category on Huffington Post:

Somatic Symptoms Criteria in DSM-5 Improve Diagnosis, Care

Last week, the American Psychiatric Association sent the next edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to the publishers.

When DSM-5 is released in May, it will introduce a new ‘catch-all’ diagnosis that could capture many thousands more patients under a mental disorder label.

Today, on Saving Normal at Psychology Today, Allen Frances, MD, who chaired the DSM-IV Task Force, publishes the third in a series of commentaries voicing considerable concern for all illness groups for the implications of an additional diagnosis of ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder.’

Why Did DSM 5 Botch Somatic Symptom Disorder?

Allen Frances writes:

“Once it is an official DSM 5 mental disorder, SSD is likely to be widely misapplied – to 1 in 6 people with cancer and heart disease and to 1 in 4 with irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia…The definition of SSD is so loose it will capture 7% of healthy people (14 million in the US alone) suddenly making this pseudo diagnosis one of the most common of all ‘mental disorders’ in the general population.”

Suzy Chapman writes:

“These highly subjective, difficult to assess criteria have the potential for widespread misapplication, particularly in busy primary care settings – causing stigma to the medically ill and potentially resulting in poor medical workups, inappropriate treatment regimes and medico-legal claims against clinicians for missed diagnoses.

“Why has the Task Force and APA Board of Trustees been prepared to sign off on a definition and criteria set that lacks a body of rigorous evidence for its validity, safety and prevalence, thereby potentially putting the public at risk? And why is APA prepared to abrogate its duty of care as a professional body and expose its membership, physicians and the allied health professional end-users of its manual to the risk of potential law suits?”

From May, an additional mental health diagnosis of ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ (SSD) can be applied whether patients have diagnosed medical diseases like diabetes, angina, cancer or multiple sclerosis, chronic illnesses like IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or chronic pain disorders, or unexplained conditions that have so far presented with bodily symptoms of unclear etiology.

A person will meet the criteria for ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ by reporting just one or more bodily symptoms that are distressing or disruptive to daily life, that have persisted for at least six months, and having just one of the following three responses:

1) disproportionate, persistent thoughts about the seriousness of their symptoms;
2) persistently high level of anxiety about their health or symptoms;
3) devoting excessive time and energy to symptoms or health concerns.

In the DSM-5 field trials, 15% of the ‘diagnosed illness’ study group (the trials looked at patients with either cancer or coronary heart disease) met the criteria for an additional mental health diagnosis of SSD.

26% of patients who comprised the irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia study group were coded for SSD.

A disturbingly high 7% of the ‘healthy’ control group were also caught by these overly-inclusive criteria.

+++

Psychiatric creep

As the criteria stand, this new disorder will potentially result in a ‘bolt-on’ mental health diagnosis being applied to all chronic illnesses and medical conditions if the clinician decides the patient’s response to distressing symptoms is ‘excessive’ or their coping strategies are ‘maladaptive,’ or that they are ‘catastrophising’ or displaying ‘fear avoidance.’ Or if the practitioner feels the patient is spending too much time on the internet researching data, symptoms and treatments, or that their lives have become ‘dominated’ by ‘illness worries,’ they may be vulnerable to an additional diagnosis of SSD.

Patients with chronic, multiple bodily symptoms due to rare conditions or multi-system diseases like Behçet’s syndrome or Systemic lupus, which may take several years to diagnose, will also be vulnerable to misdiagnosis with a mental disorder.

There is no substantial body of research to support the validity, reliability or safety of the ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ diagnosis.

During the second public review of draft criteria for DSM-5, the ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ section received more submissions from advocacy organizations, patients, and professionals than almost any other disorder category. But rather than tighten up the criteria or subject the entire disorder section to independent scientific review, the SSD Work Group’s response has been to lower the threshold even further – potentially pulling even more patients under a mental disorder label.

The ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ Work Group has rejected eleventh hour calls from professionals and patients to review its criteria before going to print.

APA says there will be opportunities to reassess and revise DSM-5‘s new disorders, post publication, and that it intends to start work on a ‘DSM-5.1’ release. But patient groups, advocates and professionals are not reassured by a ‘publish first – patch later’ approach to science.

Read Parts One and Two, here:

Part One: Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder | Allen Frances, December 8, 2012

Part Two: Bad News DSM-5 Refuses To Correct Somatic Symptom Disorder | Allen Frances, January 16, 2013

+++
Notes for media, websites, bloggers:

1. The next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will be published by American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. in May 2013. It will be known as ‘DSM-5 ‘ and has been under development since 1999.
http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx
http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/DSM%205%20development%20factsheet%201-16-13.pdf

2. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has spent $25 million on the development of DSM-5.

3. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used by mental health and medical professionals for diagnosing and coding mental disorders. It is used by psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, counselors, primary health care physicians, nurses, social workers, occupational and rehabilitation therapists and allied health professionals.

The DSM is also used for reimbursement and informs government, public health policy, courts and legal specialists, education, forensic science, prisons, drug regulation agencies, pharmaceutical companies and researchers. Diagnostic criteria defined within DSM determine what is considered a mental disorder and what is not, which treatments and therapies health insurers will authorise funding for, and for how long.

4. Four existing disorder categories in the DSM-IV ‘Somatoform Disorders’ section: somatization disorder [300.81], hypochondriasis [300.7], pain disorder, and undifferentiated somatoform disorder [300.82] will be eliminated and replaced with a single new category – ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’ for DSM-5.

5. APA has held three stakeholder comment periods during which professional and public stakeholders have been invited to submit comment on the proposals for the revision of DSM-IV categories and criteria (in February-April 2010; May-June 2011; May-June 2012).

6. DSM-5 is slated for release at the American Psychiatric Association’s 166th Annual Meeting, San Francisco (May 18-22, 2013). The new manual is available for pre-order and will cost $199: http://www.psychiatry.org/dsm5

7. Allen Frances, MD, was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC; Dr Frances is currently professor emeritus, Duke.

8. Dr Frances blogs at DSM 5 in Distress, and Saving Normal at Psychology Today.

Mislabeling Medical Illness As Mental Disorder was published on December 8, 2012

Bad News DSM-5 Refuses To Correct Somatic Symptom Disorder was published on January 16, 2013

For additional information on ‘Somatic Symptom Disorder’:

Somatic Symptom Disorder could capture millions more under mental health diagnosis by Suzy Chapman for Dx Revision Watch, May 26, 2012

Suzy Chapman

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

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

Post #220 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2CD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image Copyright Dx Revision Watch 2013

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

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

So you can use ICD-9-CM codes.

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

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

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

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

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

 

APA launches new pages for DSM-5

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

Report by John Gever for Medpage Today:

Psych Group Posts Glimpses of Final DSM-5

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

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

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

Psychiatric News | January 18, 2013
Volume 48 Number 2 page 1-6
10.1176/appi.pn.2013.1b10
American Psychiatric Association
Professional News

Continuity and Changes Mark New Text of DSM-5

Mark Moran

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

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

Go here for the DSM-5 Collection.

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

Psychiatric News Alert

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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

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

http://www.psychiatry.org/dsm5

Documents include:

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

Changes to DSM-5

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

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

DSM-5 Fact Sheets

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

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

DSM-5 Video Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSM-5 Round up: January #2

DSM-5 Round up: January #2

Post #220 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-2Ce

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

Scientific American

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

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

Ferris Jabr | January 28, 2013

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

Update: New material above

New York Times | New Old Age Blogs | Medical Issues

Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder?

Paula Span| January 25, 2013

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

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

Medscape Medical News Psychiatry

No Impact of DSM-5 Criteria on Alcohol Disorder Prevalence

Deborah Brauser | January 25, 2013

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

Huffington Post Blogs | Allen Frances, MD

Why Will DSM-5 Cost $199 a Copy?

Allen Frances, MD | January 25, 2013

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

What’s going on?

Huffington Post Blogs | Allen Frances, MD

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

Allen Frances, MD | January 18, 2013

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

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

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

New York Times | New Old Age Blogs | Medical Issues

Grief Over New Depression Diagnosis

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

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

TIME | Alcohol

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

Maia Szalavitz | January 23, 2013

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

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

EurekAlert! Press Release | January 22, 2013

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

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

Medpage Today

Psych Group Posts Glimpses of Final DSM-5

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

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

British Psychological Society

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

January 18, 2013

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

[BBC News Health report below]

BBC News Health

‘Grief and anxiety are not mental illnesses’

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

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

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

Psychiatric Times

DSM-5 Field Trials: What Was Learned

James Phillips, MD | January, 8 2013

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

%d bloggers like this: