Clinicians' judgments of clinical utility: A comparison of the DSM-IV and five-factor models

Douglas B. Samuel, Thomas A. Widiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Clinical utility, or the usefulness of a diagnostic system in clinical practice, has been identified as an important construct in proposed revisions to the diagnostic nomenclature and a significant limitation of dimensional models of personality disorder, such as the 5-factor model (FFM). Only 1 study to date has addressed explicitly the clinical utility of the FFM, and the findings suggested significant limitations. In the current study, 245 practicing psychologists described 3 historic cases using both the FFM and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) and then rated each model on 6 aspects of clinical utility. In contrast to prior research, the psychologists in this study considered the FFM to have greater clinical utility than the existing diagnostic categories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-308
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Alternative
  • Dimensional
  • Personality disorder
  • Psychopathology
  • Ted Bundy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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