27 January 2013

DSM-5 Worse Than DSM-IV In Field Trials

The latest edition of the standard diagnostic manual for psychiatric disorders has been tested in a round of field trials to see if different psychiatrists can produce consistent results when using it.  The results of those trials is the discovery that the already controversial DSM-5 is producing far less consistent diagnoses than the previous two versions did in their field trials.  Even the DSM authors' self-assessment is downbeat.   And, this is despite greatly lowering the standards for reliability that were deemed acceptable.

A few conditions are consistently diagnosed in the new manual, for example, PTSD, autism and ADHD.  But, the diagnostic reliability of very common conditions, such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and antisocial personality disorder, for example, are all very low.  The new mixed anxiety-depression disorder diagnostic reliability rating in essentially equivalent to random chance.

All of this is very, very bad for psychiatry as a profession and suggests that the results of the DSM-5 process should be mostly scrapped.

No comments: