Counselors' use and opinions of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (third edition, revised)(DSM-III-R)
Mead, Marsha A.
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This study was conducted to determine why counselors use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition, Revised) (DSM-III-R), to describe their opinions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of its use, to determine whether they believe deliberate misdiagnosis of clients occurs, to determine whether they believe they are adequately trained in the use of the DSM-III-R, and to identify counselor characteristics that are significantly related to their evaluations of the DSM-III-R. A mailed questionnaire was used to collect data from a random sample of 550 Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors. The response rate was 70.7%. Results of the study indicate that the respondents use the DSM-III-R for billing insurance, case conceptualization, treatment planning and communication with other professionals, meeting requirements of employers and external entities such as the courts, and for educational and evaluative functions. These reasons for its use are also considered to be the advantages of using the DSM-III-R. Disadvantages of the using the DSM-III-R identified include possible negative results of its use, bias and labeling, and difficulty in usage as well as difficulty applying it in marriage and family counseling. Respondents believe clients are deliberately misdiagnosed using the DSM-III-R, and a majority of respondents (62.87%) who indicated whether reported they had training in the use of the DSM-III-R and whether they believe they are adequately trained in its use said their training is adequate. Results of canonical correlation analyses indicate that respondents' amounts of training in the use of the DSM-III-R, their work settings, and their clients' being charged for counseling services are significantly related to various aspects of their evaluations of the advantages and disadvantages of the DSM-III-R.
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