Clinicians' Judgments of Clinical Utility: A Comparison of the DSM-IV and Five-Factor Models

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Abstract

Clinical utility, or the usefulness of a diagnostic system in clinical practice, has been identified as an important construct in proposed revisions to the diagnostic nomenclature and a significant limitation of dimensional models of personality disorder, such as the 5-factor model (FFM). Only 1 study to date has addressed explicitly the clinical utility of the FFM, and the findings suggested significant limitations. In the current study, 245 practicing psychologists described 3 historic cases using both the FFM and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) and then rated each model on 6 aspects of clinical utility. In contrast to prior research, the psychologists in this study considered the FFM to have greater clinical utility than the existing diagnostic categories.

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