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J Abnorm Psychol. 1991 Aug;100(3):271-9.

International use and attitudes toward DSM-III and DSM-III-R: growing consensus in psychiatric classification.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Research, National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Maryland 20857.


A survey of the uses and attitudes of 146 mental health professionals, primarily psychiatrists and psychologists, in 42 countries (not including the United States) toward the 3rd edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) and its revision (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1980,1987) is reported. The results revealed wide-spread endorsement of the multiaxial system, theoretical neutrality, descriptive symptom criteria forming discrete categories, and the placement of personality disorders on a separate axis. We report that the DSM-III and DSM-III-R are more widely used around the world than the International Classification of Diseases for teaching, research, and clinical practice. Opinions about various dimensions of the DSM's usefulness and shortcomings are presented.

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