Friday, 28 October 2016

Lower autism rate under DSM-5 (yet again)

So: "Results indicate that individuals diagnosed with PDD [pervasive developmental disorder] by DSM-IV-TR criteria may not be diagnosed using DSM-5 criteria."

That was the conclusion reached by Ferhat Yaylaci & Suha Miral [1] following their study of 150 children (3-15 years old) diagnosed with PDD "by DSM-IV-TR" whose symptoms/presentation were "reviewed through psychiatric assessment based on DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 criteria." The percentage figure they arrived at (19.3%) indicated that about a fifth of participants might not reach diagnostic thresholds based on the DSM-5 criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). PDD in DSM-IV by the way, refers to the autism spectrum.

As per the title of this post, I'm not surprised by this data as previous independent studies have similarly shown a drop in numbers of those 'fitting' the revised diagnostic thresholds included in the latest version of the DSM (see here and see here and see here). Combined with data indicating that the new diagnostic category termed 'social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD)' in DSM-5 is likely to fill up rather quickly (see here) to accommodate those not reaching the ASD diagnostic thresholds, the question on everyone's lips is: what will it mean to be diagnosed with SCD in terms of function of the diagnosis, services offered and public perception?

The short answer: we don't yet know.

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[1] Yaylaci F. & Miral S. A Comparison of DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 Diagnostic Classifications in the Clinical Diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disorders. 2016. Oct 17.

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ResearchBlogging.org Yaylaci, F., & Miral, S. (2016). A Comparison of DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 Diagnostic Classifications in the Clinical Diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders DOI: 10.1007/s10803-016-2937-8