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September 1988

Having a Dream: A Research Strategy for DSM-IV

Author Affiliations

From the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(9):871-874. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800330105013

• Psychiatric research has had a major impact on both DSM-III and its revision (DSM-III-R). We propose a strategy to maximize the impact of psychiatric research on DSM-IV. This strategy is an elaboration of a study design that was particularly helpful in developing criteria for several of the problematic diagnostic categories of DSM-III-R. The strategy, called a "multiplex study design," employs (1) multiple collaborating centers, (2) multiple experts in the diagnoses being studied at each site, and (3) multiple diagnostic criteria sets so that alternative definitions of disorders can be compared in terms of (4) multiple external validity criteria, such as familial aggregation, course, and differential response to treatment. This strategy is a particularly efficient method for providing an empiric base for further revisions in our official classification of mental disorders.

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