Grand Rounds with Dr. Michael First and Dr. Geoffrey Reed: Why There Are Two Classification Systems in Psychiatry and How They Differ

On June 30, 2021, Dr. Michael First and Dr. Geoffrey Reed presented during Columbia Psychiatry Grand Rounds to provide insights into the similarities and differences between the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

The ICD-11 is a publication developed and distributed by the World Health Organization, and DSM-5 is developed and published by the American Psychiatric Association. In recent years, working groups involving leaders and experts from both WHO and APA have worked together to harmonize the organizational structures of these two classification systems for mental disorders.

However, not all diagnoses and categories have been harmonized, largely because the considerations and approaches taken by WHO and APA differ (i.e. differing priorities, uses of the classification systems, and interpretation of research evidence). There are various advantages and disadvantages to having two distinct classification systems in psychiatry, and Dr. First and Dr. Reed remarked that these two systems will likely both continue to contribute to advances in the field.


To learn more, the recording of this Grand Rounds presentation is available and can be viewed here.

Dr. First, Dr. Reed, and colleagues also recently published an article in World Psychiatry that provides an organizational and categorical level comparison of the ICD-11 and DSM-5.