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April 1989

The Development of DSM-IV

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY (Drs Frances and Widiger); the Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington (Dr Widiger); and the American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC (Dr Pincus). Dr Frances is now with the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(4):373-375. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810040079012

In May, 1988, the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Washington, DC, appointed a task force to begin work on the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), scheduled to be published in 1993. In a recent article that appeared in the NEWS AND VIEWS section of the ARCHIVES, Zimmerman1 suggested that such an endeavor might be premature and expressed concern that any revisions to DSM-III-R would be necessarily rushed and whimsical, would be unresponsive to research, and would contribute to the confusing array of alternative diagnostic criteria sets already available in the literature. Similar concerns have been expressed elsewhere.2-5 We will provide here the background for the decision to publish DSM-IV in 1993, the rationale for beginning this work in 1988, and the procedural safeguards we have instituted to minimize arbitrary and idiosyncratic revisions.


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