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A brief summary of important activities in the development of DSM-5, from the initial planning stages and leading up to the publication of DSM-5, are found below:

1999-2007: Development of DSM-5 Pre-Planning white papers, including “A Research Agenda for the DSM-5” (2002, American Psychiatric Association) and “Age and Gender Considerations in Psychiatric Diagnosis: A Research Agenda for the DSM-5” (2007, American Psychiatric Association) and a white paper on cultural and spiritual issues that can affect diagnosis. “Phase 1: A Research Agenda for DSM-5: White Paper Monographs”

2004-2007: “The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Refining the Research Agenda” APA/NIH/WHO global research planning conferences. “Phase 2: Refining the Research Agenda for DSM-5: NIH Conference Series”

2006-2008: Drs. David Kupfer and Darrel Regier were appointed as chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the DSM-5 Task Force. Another key appointment included that of Dr. William Narrow, Research Director. DSM-5 Work Group Chairs and Members were appointed and announced.


The DSM-5 Task Force and Work Group members spent much of 2008-2010 formulating their proposed draft criteria. This included conducting extensive literature reviews, performing secondary data analyses, and soliciting feedback from colleagues and professionals.

April 2010 – December 2011: Field Trial Testing in Large, Academic Medical Centers. Proposed revisions were examined in a variety of populations (e.g., child, older adults) and in diverse settings.

December 2010 – October 2011: Data collection for DSM-5 Field Trials among 11 large, academic-medical centers.

October 2010 – February 2012: Field Trial Testing in Routine Clinical Practices (RCPs). DSM-5 Field Trials were also conducted in RCPs, such as solo and small group practices.

November 2010 – May 2011: Recruitment of a representative sample of psychiatrists, consisting of randomly sampled general psychiatrists, plus a representative stratified sample of additional geriatric, addiction, consultation and liaison, and child psychiatrists, all selected from the AMA Masterfile of Physicians.

November 2010 – October 2011: Recruitment of volunteer sample of clinicians, consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, and advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nurses.

July 2011 – February 2012: Data collection for DSM-5 Field Trials in RCPs.


March 2011 – November 2012: Drafting Text for DSM-5. Members of the DSM-5 Task Force and Work Group began drafting their initial text for DSM-5, including possible revisions to text descriptions within each diagnostic chapter.

March 2011-October 2012: Text for disorders not included in the DSM-5 Field Trials were drafted first. Text for disorders under examination in the field trials were completed after the work groups had received data from each of the field trials. Work groups submitted initial drafts, comments and suggestions were provided by DSM leadership, and work groups revised and resubmitted as needed. The DSM-5 Task Force had the opportunity to review all drafts before they were submitted to APA publishing in December 2012.

November 30, 2012: Final draft text of DSM-5 due to APA publishing for preparation for publication. The entire draft manual was due to publishing by December 31, 2012.


October 2011-April 2012: Data analysis of results from both types of field trials started in October 2011. Data analysis from the large academic field trials began first, while data analysis from the RCP field trials continued until after enrollment ended in February 2012. Work groups were provided with results from both field trials and updated their draft criteria as needed.

Spring 2012: Revised draft diagnostic criteria were posted on and open to a third public feedback period for 2 months. Feedback was shared directly with work group members, and further edits to proposals were made as needed.

March-December 2012: Presentation of penultimate DSM-5 proposals to APA Board of Trustees; Task Force review of feedback from APA Governance bodies; Final revisions by the APA Task Force; Final approval by APA Board of Trustees; Submission to American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

May 18-22, 2013: The release of DSM-5 took place during the APA’s 2013 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

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