Clinical Utility and DSM-V

Stephanie N. Mullins-Sweatt, Thomas A. Widiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The construction of the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual has been guided primarily by concerns of construct validity rather than of clinical utility, despite claims by its authors that the highest priority has in fact been clinical utility. The purpose of this article was to further articulate the concept and importance of utility when constructing and evaluating a diagnostic construct. It is suggested that a relative emphasis on validity over utility is justifiable but that matters of clinical utility should not be neglected. Discussed in particular is ease of usage, communication, and treatment planning. Suggestions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-312
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • DSM-V
  • clinical utility
  • diagnostic construct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical Utility and DSM-V'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this