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Special Communication |

Unintended Consequences of Changing the Definition of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in DSM-5 Critique and Call for Action

Charles W. Hoge, MD1; Rachel Yehuda, PhD2,3; Carl A. Castro, PhD4; Alexander C. McFarlane, MD5; Eric Vermetten, MD, PhD6,7,8; Rakesh Jetly, MD9; Karestan C. Koenen, PhD10,11; Neil Greenberg, MD12; Arieh Y. Shalev, MD13,14; Sheila A. M. Rauch, PhD15,16; Charles R. Marmar, MD17; Barbara O. Rothbaum, PhD15
[+] Author Affiliations
1Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, US Army Medical Research and Material Command, Silver Spring, Maryland
2James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, New York
3Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
4School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
5Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
6Military Mental Health Research Center, Ministry of Defense, Utrecht, the Netherlands
7Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
8Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group, Diemen, the Netherlands
9Canadian Forces Health Services Group Headquarters, Directorate of Mental Health, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
11Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
12The King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London, London, England
13Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York
14Hadassah and Hebrew University School of Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel
15Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
16Mental Health Services, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia
17Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center for Posttraumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(7):750-752. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0647.
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This Special Communication argues against changing the definition of posttraumatic stress disorder in DSM-5.

Are changes to the definition of posttraumatic stress disorder in DSM-5 a step forward?—No.

Article InformationCorresponding Author: Charles W. Hoge, MD, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, US Army Medical Research and Material Command, 503 Robert Grant Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (charles.w.hoge.civ@mail.mil).Submitted for Publication: September 15, 2015; final revision received January 13, 2016; accepted January 15, 2016.

Published Online: May 25, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0647.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr McFarlane is involved in expert testimony about veterans and emergency service personnel. Dr Rothbaum owns equity in Virtually Better Inc, which creates virtual-reality products. No other disclosures were reported.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect an official position of the US Army, Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs, or other institutions listed.

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