According to the DSM-5, how is a diagnosis of schizophrenia further specified?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Various course specifiers are used, though only if the disorder has been present for at least 1 year and if they do not contradict diagnostic course criteria. These specifiers include the following [1] :

  • First episode, currently in acute episode

  • First episode, currently in partial remission

  • First episode, currently in full remission

  • Multiple episodes, currently in acute episode

  • Multiple episodes, currently in partial remission

  • Multiple episodes, currently in full remission

  • Continuous

  • Unspecified

The presence or absence of catatonia is specified. Individuals meeting the criteria for catatonia receive an additional diagnosis of catatonia associated with schizophrenia to indicate the presence of the comorbidity.

Finally, the current severity of the disorder is specified by evaluating the primary symptoms of psychosis and rating their severity on a 5-point scale ranging from 0 (not present) to 4 (present and severe).

Schizophrenia subtypes were removed from DSM-5 because they did not appear to help with providing better-targeted treatment or predicting treatment response.

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