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Letter to the Editor   |    
Title Change for DSM-V?
JAMES F. MADDUX, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2003;160:1357-1357. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.160.7.1357

To the Editor: In a remarkable book, A Research Agenda for DSM-V(1), 46 international experts proposed far-reaching research that could eventually lead to diagnoses based more on etiology than on symptom syndromes. I offer a suggestion for improving DSM-V that would require little or no research. I suggest deleting the term "statistical" from the title of the manual, thereby making it the "Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition." The abbreviation would become DM-V—or, perhaps better—DMMD-V. Here is my rationale for the suggested change.

1. The title of a book should concisely and correctly inform readers about its principal content. The current title misleads readers. DSM-I and DSM-II contain short sections on statistical reporting, but DSM-III and DSM-IV do not. Neither DSM-III nor DSM-IV can correctly be called a "statistical manual."

2. DSM classifications are used for statistical reporting, but they are also used for clinical care, teaching, and research. Including all purposes served by DSM would produce a long and unwieldy title.

This change might puzzle or distress some users who have become accustomed to "DSM." Most users would probably appreciate the need and accept the change; a poll of users could be taken. However, the American Journal of Insanity changed its name to the American Journal of Psychiatry and continued to prosper.

Kupfer DJ, First MB, Regier DA (eds): A Research Agenda for DSM-V. Washington, DC, APA, 2002
 
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References

Kupfer DJ, First MB, Regier DA (eds): A Research Agenda for DSM-V. Washington, DC, APA, 2002
 
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