Training Planned on DSM-5 Changes

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th EditionNASW will disseminate information about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, this month.

The DSM-5 is available now, but clinical social workers and other mental health professionals should note that changes in diagnosis codes will not go into effect until Oct. 1, 2014, said NASW Senior Practice Associate Mirean Coleman.

Clinical social workers use the DSM to diagnose disorders affecting moods, identity, personality and cognition, among other things. The manual also is a basis for insurance company reimbursements for mental health services.

The DSM changes include new, deleted or expanded diagnostic criteria and coding for mental health diagnoses.

Coleman said an NASW Practice Perspective on the DSM-5 is expected to be posted this month on the NASW website.

Also, NASW will offer webinars from noon to 1 p.m. ET on July 24 and from noon to 1 p.m. ET on Aug. 8. The first webinar will assist clinical social workers in transitioning from the DSM-IV to the DSM-5.

Even though changes in diagnosis codes will not occur until next year, clinical social workers need to make themselves aware of the updates, Coleman said.

“It is often referred to as the bible of mental health,” she said. “You cannot diagnose mental illness without the DSM.”

The manual was last fully revised in 1994.

Coleman said changes include:

  • Intellectual disability or intellectual developmental disorder will replace the term mental retardation.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been updated to include adults.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorder is a new chapter that includes autism spectrum disorder.
  • The multiaxial system has been eliminated.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder has its own chapter.
  • Mood disorders will have two chapters: bipolar and other related disorders and depressive disorders.