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Keywords:

  • diagnosis;
  • DSM-IV;
  • DSM-V;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • binge eating disorder

Abstract

Objective:

This article provides a brief overview of the development of the diagnostic criteria for eating disorders in DSM-IV.

Method:

The process by which DSM-IV was developed is reviewed, including perspectives on what constitutes diagnostic validity and clinical utility, and their importance in assessing proposed changes in diagnostic criteria.

Results:

The question of whether alterations in diagnostic criteria would clearly improve clinical utility was a major consideration in the DSM-IV process. Because of concerns that changes in diagnostic criteria would be disruptive and might entail loss of established knowledge, the DSM-IV Task Force assumed a generally conservative stance vis-à-vis change.

Conclusion:

The process of developing DSM-V is just beginning, and it is far from clear what alterations in diagnostic criteria for eating disorders will occur. However, the evolution of DSM-IV may provide a useful perspective on the development of DSM-V. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007.