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November 1979

Research Diagnostic Criteria-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science 6431 Fannin Houston, TX 77030

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(12):1382-1383. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780120112014

In Reply.—  If our article was "troubling", then it probably served its purpose. Unfortunately, the various diagnostic criteria are being widely and uncritically adopted without adequate validation. Our article was not intended as a criticism of any particular approach to operationalizing diagnostic criteria. It was intended merely to emphasize the need for empirical evaluation and validation of whatever approach is ultimately accepted.The rebuttal by Spitzer and colleagues states that the purpose of the Washington University criteria, the New York criteria, and the DSM-III criteria is to improve clinical practice by incorporating into diagnostic criteria distinctions that have been shown "by research study" to have some validity in terms of such variables as course, response to specific therapy, familial pattern, etc. Instead of repeating the oft-stated research claims, would it not be more convincing to document them? Dr Spitzer obviously recognizes the critical difference that specific wording of diagnostic criteria can

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