The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition denotes a standard classification system that holds information on every major psychiatric disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association. This tool is available for mental health professionals to diagnose and classify psychiatric disorders. The tool is also vital in collecting and disseminating information on the state of psychiatry disorders in the community. The tool comprises of diagnostic classification, criteria sets and descriptive text.
The diagnostic classification lists conditions that count as mental disorders, notes the American Psychiatric Association. Each condition on this list has a unique diagnostic code. This code is vital in information processing. These diagnostic classifications make use of codes derived from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision coding system.
Diagnostic criteria sets hold information about the conditions defined in the classifications, explains the American Psychiatric Association. The criteria specify the types of symptoms that must exist for any diagnosis to stand. Additionally, these symptoms need to have been present for a given period for the diagnosis to be confirmed. The main aim of these diagnostic criteria is to increase the possibility of health care staff coming up with a similar diagnosis when assessing patients.
The descriptive text provides further information about each condition, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Descriptive text includes diagnostic features, measures and differential diagnosis among others.