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The Development of DSM-IV

Allen J. Frances, MD; Thomas A. Widiger, PhD; Harold Alan Pincus, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(4):373-375. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810040079012.
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In May, 1988, the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Washington, DC, appointed a task force to begin work on the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), scheduled to be published in 1993. In a recent article that appeared in the NEWS AND VIEWS section of the ARCHIVES, Zimmerman1 suggested that such an endeavor might be premature and expressed concern that any revisions to DSM-III-R would be necessarily rushed and whimsical, would be unresponsive to research, and would contribute to the confusing array of alternative diagnostic criteria sets already available in the literature. Similar concerns have been expressed elsewhere.2-5 We will provide here the background for the decision to publish DSM-IV in 1993, the rationale for beginning this work in 1988, and the procedural safeguards we have instituted to minimize arbitrary and idiosyncratic revisions.

DSM-IV AND ICD-10  The APA

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