Monday, January 21, 2008

DSM criteria on my website

I've started putting DSM criteria on my website, for the following two reasons:

Awhile back I tried to find older DSM criteria (I believe DSM-III-R but can't remember exactly) for some conditions and discovered that the only DSM criteria available on the Internet, that I could find by googling, was DSM-IV. History is important, and I'd like older DSM criteria to be publicly available so people can see the history of the DSM.

Recently I happened, on impulse, to photocopy a substantial chunk of the DSM-III and DSM-III-R while I was at the Health Sciences branch of my local universary's library.

So anyway, on my page I've put up the DSM-III and -III-R criteria for conduct disorder, the autistic spectrum and ADHD so far, and linked to the DSM-IV criteria. I will do more conditions, and probably put up my own summaries of the changes in the criteria and what I think about that (for example, DSM-III had a category called Childhood Onset Pervasive Developmental Disorder which was most likely roughly equivalent to DSM-IV's Childhood Disintegrative Disorder), as time goes on.

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Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

Great idea -- the DSM can sometimes be like a "historical snap shot" not only of what is KNOWN about various psychological and psychiatric conditions but also what is THOUGHT to be known (a very different concept altogether!) or ATTITUDES toward what is thought to be known (yet again a completely different thing altogether). Consider the addition then later deletion of "homosexuality" as one example.

Any way you can go back to even older versions of the DSM or any of its predecessors, if any? (i.e., from before the DSM III .. .back to the very first version of the DSM, or anything that came before it.) Or maybe compare it against what is said in similar tomes published in other countries, both currently and in the past? It could be interesting to explore questions like: To what extent has any evolution in diagnostic criteria in the DSM been reflected in diagnostic criteria given in equivalent manuals in other countries?

If you worked at it and did sufficiently extensive research, you could even consider trying to get it published more formally somewhere. I don't know if that would interest you (though I think I recall your mentioning somewhere at this blog that you were interested in getting involved in research as a possible career? In which case, any formal publication you can get would help.) If you went this route, then you could use the blog here as a kind of a diary in which you jot down your discoveries as you come across them and your "stream of consciousness" or first set of reactions to what you find. Hope this doesn't come across as too intimidating an idea! Just trying to encourage you to aim high! As long as you also enjoy yourself.

However much you decide to do with this, I'll look forward to what you share at your blog here.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Ettina said...

I tried to find earlier DSM issues but couldn't.
Awhile back I saw in a book a copy of Bleuler's original criteria for childhood schizophrenia. I know where to find the book, it's a super-expensive book at my favorite bookstore, so I'll go and see if I can copy it down and put it up as well.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

Have you tried university libraries, or interlibrary loan systems?

7:14 AM  
Blogger Ettina said...

As I mention in my post, it was at the university library that I found the DSM-III and III-R. They don't have DSM-I or II, unfortunately.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

Sorry, I guess I overlooked the part where you said about using a university library. But, have you tried its inter-library loan program? Most university libraries have it, at least in the US (and so I would guess Canadian libraries would have something similar), where university libraries can borrow materials from each other. It can dramatically expand your reach to materials that aren't available at your local library but that might be available at other university libraries, the main caveat being that you have to wait a while for it to arrive. The other caveat is that some university libraries seem to have criteria on who is and isn't eligible to use the inter-library loan system.

7:55 AM  

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