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December 1980

DSM-III vs DSM-II: How Much More Reliable?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Division of Mental Retardation and Child Psychiatry Department of Psychiatry Neuropsychiatric Institute University of California at Los Angeles Center for the Health Sciences 760 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90024

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(12):1426-1427. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780250112017

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Although our study was published in 1979 (Archives, 36:1208-1228, 1979), it was conducted in January and February 1977. Available at that time were only very early drafts of the text of the proposed syndromes, with early thoughts about operational criteria for each disorder; in some cases there were not even early drafts but only the names of the disorders.

In part, our effort was to "get the bugs out," to find out which disorders might present real problems and whether operational criteria for some disorders might have to be modified. Partly as a result of our study, a number of the disorders that were being considered at that time were dropped from the final draft, and operational criteria for some of the disorders were changed. Thus, we do not consider ours a definitive study of the reliability of the final DSM-III.

The cases selected were actual outpatient cases. The drafts

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