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December 1988

Why Are We Rushing to Publish DSM-IV?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa School of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(12):1135-1138. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800360083013

DSM-III was published in 1980. 1 Seven years later, DSMIII-Revised (DSM-III-R) was published.2 Less than one year after the publication of DSM-III-R, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced its intention to publish DSM-IV by the end of 1992 (Psychiatric News, Jan 15, 1988, p 1). Thus, a five-year interval will separate the publication of DSM-III-R and DSM-IV. The thesis of this essay is that five years is insufficient for the accumulation of an adequate database to guide the developers of DSM-IV. Moreover, the publication of three DSM editions within 12 years will result in diagnostic subdivisions within both the research and clinical communities, which will impair progress in the development of a valid classification.

DSM-IV: THE GOAL AND ITS FULFILLMENT  The chairperson of the task force for the development of DSM-IV, Allen Frances, MD, is advocating a conservative approach toward changing the DSM-III-R criteria such that only those changes

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