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Critical appraisal of the provisional DSM-5 criteria for anorexia nervosa and an alternative proposal

Authors

  • Johannes Hebebrand MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
    • Head of Department, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Virchowstr. 174, 45147 Essen, Germany
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  • Cynthia M. Bulik PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • NOTE: We refer to DSM-5 in the context of the provisional criteria published online (see http://www.dsm5.org); we refer to DSM-V for the future Manual.

Abstract

DSM-V will be highly influential in shaping conceptions and perceptions of eating disorders by the lay public, patients, and health care providers over the next 10–15 years. DSM not only influences how medical and mental health care professionals diagnose and treat patients but also impacts health insurance policies, research funding, and clinical trials. Revisions to diagnostic criteria must be carefully considered, empirically based, and consistent with current thinking both within the field and across relevant fields. Resultant criteria should be descriptive and non-judgmental and based on empirical findings without recourse to assumed etiologies. In this forum, we review problems with the current DSM IV diagnostic criteria, concerns with the proposed DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, and present an alternative classification scheme for anorexia nervosa (AN), which more accurately captures the phenomenology of the disorder and is congruent in terminology with other fields of biomedicine. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2010)

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