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Letters to the Editor
Response:
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 21 page 23-24

The leadership of APA and the DSM-V process greatly value the interchange among those working directly on DSM-V, members of APA, and the public. We fully understand that both experts and the lay public need to have substantive information about the DSM-V process to make useful observations and suggestions, and we have taken active steps to assure the provision of that information. Members of the task force and work groups are encouraged to present and distribute useful information from their discussions. The APA Board has voted to make regular DSM-V reports available to the public through the<www.dsm5.org> Web site, which will also include summaries from work group chairs on significant issues they are addressing.

We are aware of efforts to portray the DSM-V process as unnecessarily and counterproductively secretive. On the contrary, it is more open than any previous DSM process. Participants report that they are freely and actively sharing all the relevant issues in rounds, talks, and other discussions. The DSM is a diagnostic manual used in much of the world. Its development must include consideration of the broadest possible range of views and the full range of available or obtainable data. At the same time, we hope that Psychiatric News readers will understand that it is not possible or desirable to have the whole world, so to speak, involved in the moment-to-moment process of each DSM-V meeting. We have to balance the need for broad participation with the need for a space in which the members of the task force and work groups can carry out their challenging work without dissemination of their every thought or comment. We believe that the balance we have achieved allows for a level of public and professional involvement that is unprecedented in the history of DSM diagnostic revisions.

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