Julia Sadar | Fall 2016 Research Across Disciplines

Tue Jul 18, 2017
Julia Sadar, Webster University Geneva Faculty Sponsor: Liza JachensTitle: Current use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Abstract: Everyday thousands of diagnoses are made using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate this tool used by the medical community. Not only is the DSM used for diagnosis but it also influences the treatment plans and outcomes of patients. Different versions of the DSM can result in different diagnoses and outcomes. For example, the DSM-5 no longer recognizes specific diagnoses, such as Asperger’s Syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders PDD. Instead, there is now just a single diagnosis, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Gadow, 1991, p. 844). The reason for the change given by The American Psychiatric Association (APA) was that these diagnoses were not properly applied by physicians throughout the world. However, there is little research in understanding how the DSM is currently used by the medical community. The influence of such an important tool is complex, and therefore requires further investigation. This study seeks to address this gap in the literature by interviewing psychiatrists on their process of diagnosis, and more specifically on how they use the DSM in their practice. This study will therefore provide insights into the challenges of diagnosis, and how the DSM is used in day-to-day practice. Insights will also be gained into the perceived implications and impact of the changes of the DSM from the practitioner’s viewpoint. The Research Across Disciplines conference showcases undergraduate and graduate student work that makes an original, intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. The conference features students in a variety of academic and creative fields from across the region. The Fall 2016 RAD conference featured 64 graduate and undergraduate students, representing 13 academic departments from 4 schools/colleges. Along with local participants, 5 presenters teleconferenced in to present from 2 of Webster's international campuses.