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November 10, 1978

Critical Issues in Psychiatric Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

University of Kentucky Lexington

JAMA. 1978;240(20):2198-2199. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290200076036

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During the early decades of this century, Adolf Meyer, the leading American psychiatrist of his time, urged his colleagues to avoid all terms that are open to confusion when describing patients and to use plain statements of behaviors in simple, nontechnical language as often as possible. In another attempt to find more effective ways to communicate diagnostic impressions, American psychiatrists are revising the official diagnostic nomenclature for the third time in 30 years. A decidedly descriptive conceptual shift is taking place in an attempt to increase validity and reliability. For example, neuroses seem destined for elimination as a classification in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III, which clinicians will begin using in early 1980. The contributors to this text have spearheaded the transition.

This book is a collection of 20 papers presented at a recent meeting of the American Psychopathological Association. The text contains four major sections,