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Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders (DSM)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States. It is intended to be applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, family/systems).  It also contains diagnostic codes (taken from ICD-9-CM) that can be used to satisfy record-keeping and reimbursement needs.   Since all of the diagnostic codes are valid ICD-9-CM codes, users of the DSM automatically satisfy diagnostic coding requirements under HIPAA.  (Click here for more information about DSM-IV-TR coding issues). Please note one recent coding change in DSM-IV-TR (effective October 1, 2004): the diagnostic code for Narcolepsy has been changed from 347 to 347.00.

DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition), published in 1994, was the last major revision of the DSM. It was the culmination of a six-year effort that involved over 1000 individuals and numerous professional organizations. Much of the effort involved conducting a comprehensive review of the literature to establish a firm empirical basis for making modifications. Numerous changes were made to the classification (i.e., disorders were added, deleted, and reorganized), to the diagnostic criteria sets, and to the descriptive text based on a careful consideration of the available research about the various mental disorders.

In anticipation of the fact that the next major revision of the DSM (i.e., DSM-V) will not appear until 2011 or later (i.e., at least 16 years after DSM-IV), a text revision of the DSM-IV called DSM-IV-TR was published in May 2000. The primary goal of the DSM-IV-TR was to maintain the currency of the DSM-IV text, which reflected the empirical literature up to 1992. Thus, most of the major changes in DSM-IV-TR were confined to the descriptive text. Changes were made to a handful of criteria sets in order to correct errors identified in DSM-IV. In addition, some of the diagnostic codes were changed to reflect updates to the ICD-9-CM coding system adopted by the U.S. Government. Click here for a description of changes in DSM-IV-TR.

The next edition of the DSM, DSM-V, is not scheduled for publication until 2011 (or later). The APA Division of Research manages the DSM revision process and does not expect to begin forming DSM development workgroups until 2007 or later. More information about the DSM revision process and the current activities in planning for the development of DSM-V are available on the DSM-V Prelude Project Web Site.  www.dsm5.org.

Thank you for your interest in the DSM. Your comments or questions may be emailed to: DSM@psych.org or snail-mailed to DSM Coordinator, American Psychiatric Association, Division of Research, 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va. 22209-3901.