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A Critical Evaluation of the DSM-IV - Term Paper Example

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The author of this paper gives a critical evaluation of the DSM-IV, a diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association for the classification and treatment of mental disorders, such as autism and depression, with reference empirical evidence…
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A Critical Evaluation of the DSM-IV
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Download file to see previous pages The DSM-IV, it has been argued, is much clearer, concise and more communicative than previous editions and similar manuals (APA, 1994; Zimmerman, et. al., 2006). Furthermore, the DSM-IV can be said to be informative in the sense that it is a symptom-based manual, enabling healthcare professionals to understand and see the variance between mental disorders (APA, 1994; Mayes and Horwitz, 2005; Zimmerman et. al., 2006). Hence, it can be said that the DSM-IV is a useful tool through which healthcare professionals can accurately identify and treat different mental disorders.
In addition, Mayes and Horwitz (2005) reviewed the history of the DSM. The authors stated that the third edition of the DSM was the first edition to be a symptom-based category of mental disorders in order to improve the diagnosis of these disorders. As such, the DSM-III became a more standardized diagnostic tool to identify mental disorders and distinguish them for others (Mayes and Horwitz, 2005). In this sense, the DSM-III and the DSM-IV have become more standardized and so a more reliable tool for diagnosing mental disorders, which should result in better diagnosis and less misdiagnosis/misinterpretation of different mental disorders.
The DSM-IV has also been designed so that it can be used across many different settings, such as primary care unit, hospitals and private practices for example (APA, 1994; Zimmerman, et. al., 2006). As such, it could be argued that the DSM-IV is a highly useful diagnostic tool, as it is able to be used across different settings and thus reach a wider population of patients. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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