The Limits of an Evidence-Based Classification of Mental Disorders

Published in: Descriptions and Prescriptions: Values, Mental Disorders, and the DSMs / Edited by Sadler, J. Z. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), Chapter 2, p. 9-24

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2002

by Harold Alan Pincus, Laurie McQueen

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Evidence-based approaches to psychiatric classification are essential to assure the credibility of the field and to conform to current scientific standards. They do, however, have important limitations and are not without their own explicit and implicit set of values. This chapter reviews and describes the origin, background, and goals of the DMS-IV, the principles of evidence-based psychiatry, and how those principles were applied during the DSM-IV process. The limitation of this approach and recommendations and projections for the future are also discussed.

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