October 19, 2005

Classification of Psychiatric Disorders

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(15):1898-1900. doi:10.1001/jama.294.15.1899-a

To the Editor: Agreement on common systems of classification, coding, and terminology is important for clinical research, clinical decision support, and interoperability of electronic medical record systems. In this light, the Commentary by Dr McHugh,1 which calls upon psychiatrists to bring coherence to the diagnostic classification represented by the DSM IV by moving away from disease classification based on symptoms, is laudable. He contrasts DSM IV with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which he considers a better type of scheme and refers to as “the internists’ manual.”

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