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Clinicians' Judgments of the Clinical Utility of Personality Disorder Trait Descriptions

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Abstract

Proposed for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) was a five-domain, 25-dimensional trait model that would have constituted a significant part of the diagnostic criteria for each personality disorder. A primary concern with respect to the proposal was that clinicians might find such an approach to be unacceptable. This study provides results from three independent data collections that compared clinicians' clinical utility ratings for each iteration of the DSM-5 dimensional trait assignments, along with an alternative list of traits derived from the Five Factor Form (FFF). The clinicians considered the final trait assignments that were posted for the avoidant, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, and schizoid personality disorders to be significantly less acceptable than the original assignments. They also considered the FFF trait assignments to be preferable to the DSM-5 final postings with respect to the avoidant, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, dependent, and histrionic personality disorders. The implications of these results for future editions of the diagnostic manual are discussed.

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