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A Comparison of DSM-II and DSM-III in the Diagnosis of Childhood Psychiatric Disorders:  III. Multiaxial Features

Andrew T. Russell, MD; Dennis P. Cantwell, MD; Richard Mattison, MD; Lois Will, MA
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(11):1223-1226. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780110077009.
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• A major feature of DSM-III is its multiaxial format. One purpose of this study was to examine the purported advantages of a multiaxial system as compared to those of a multicategory system, eg, DSM-II. We found that the multiaxial system led to a more complete and reliable diagnosis of complex clinical cases. Concomitant medical disorder and psychosocial stressors were coded with high levels of interrater agreement. We conclude that the multiaxial framework is a major strength of DSM-III.

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