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Psychopathology Review
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 Volume 2, Issue 1, 83-99, 2015
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Integrating dimensional assessment and categorical diagnosis in DSM-5: The benefits and challenges of the paradigm shift for the anxiety disorders

  Richard LeBeau - University of California, Los Angeles
  Susan Bögels - University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  Eline Möller - University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  Michelle Craske - University of California, Los Angeles

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 83-99

With DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) strongly encourages clinicians and researchers to supplement traditional categorical diagnoses with dimensional ratings of severity. To that end, several scales have been created for or adopted by the APA that are brief, psychometrically sound, and easily accessible. Despite these scales’ inclusion in the text and online, awareness of them remains low one year after DSM-5’s publication. In the present paper, we review the APA’s guidelines for dimensional assessment and examine several issues relevant to dimensional assessment including: persuading clinicians of the utility of dimensional assessment, raising awareness of the scales, establishing guidelines for interpretation, incorporating data from multiple informants, assessment across diverse groups, and the risks and benefits of scales accessible to the general public. These issues will be illustrated through the example of the anxiety disorders, due to the fact that this diagnostic category has made significant progress with regard to dimensional classification.

Table of Contents
The Limitations of the Categorical System and the Need for Dimensional Assessment
Raising Awareness of the Cross-Cutting and Disorder-Specific Severity Measures
Establishing Guidelines for Interpretation of the Measures
Incorporating Multiple Informants into a Single Rating
Ensuring that DSM-5 Dimensional Ratings are Valid and Reliable Across Developmental Periods, Cultures, and Genders
The Risks and Benefits of an Open-Access Assessment Measure
Creating Synergy between the DSM-5 Approach and Emerging Research
Appendix A:
 Separation Anxiety Disorder Dimensional Scale - Adult version
Appendix B:
 Separation Anxiety Disorder Dimensional Scale - Child version
Appendix C:
 Separation Anxiety Disorder Dimensional Scale - Parent version

Correspondence to
Richard LeBeau, M.A., Address: 1285 Franz Hall, Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA

DSM-5, dimensional assessment, anxiety disorders, diagnosis

Received 28 Mar 2014; Revised 18 Apr 2014; Accepted 22 Apr 2014; In Press 14 Feb 2015

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