March 14, 2023

Applying the DSM via the DxP Diagnostic Process

The DxP dynamic algorithms of the DSM-5

Clinicians around the world turn to the DSM-5 for its methodological approach to the diagnosis of mental health disorders. The DSM nosologic system is a common language for practitioners to gather and exchange patient information and enables consistent and reliable diagnoses. Yet, it isn’t the easiest tool to use.

Typically, mental health practitioners would consult their DSM-5 handbook to fine-tune or research their diagnostic by going through chapters and pages. Analyzing the symptoms under each disorder to match them as best as possible with their patient. Although the method becomes faster over time, this antiquated process was greatly improved with the DxP diagnostic program.

The DxP uses dynamic algorithms to analyze the clinician input in correlation with the DSM-5, and provides diagnostic information and recommendations, including related symptoms, risks, progression, and differential-diagnosis. At each stage of the diagnostic process the program assists you in reaching an informed, detailed, and precise diagnostic assessment for your patient. The program expedites the clinician diagnostic assessment, and helps reaching a DSM-5 diagnosis and ICD faster.

While maintaining the highest level of data safety via full HIPAA compliance, the DxP is intended to provide the clinician with maximum control over the diagnosis. The final diagnosis is made based on the clinical interview, criteria text descriptions, and clinician’s judgment.

Never heard of a symptom analysis before? With the DxP you don’t need to search for the best disorder categories, rather you can start directly with the patient’s clinical picture symptoms and the DxP AI program generates the best disorder matches. The more detailed the symptoms entered, the more accurate and precise the results from this machine-learning mental health diagnostician.

Does using the DxP really make a difference? Yes. Studies and meta-analyses show consistent findings of improving diagnosis when using actuarial systems. With the DxP, the DSM-5 is algorithmized, easier to use, and with heightened accuracy.

How the DxP simplifies the DSM-5 diagnostic process

The DxP was developed with practical applications in mind. Throughout, the diagnostic process is ongoing. Starting at the initial referral stage and ending with treatment termination, all of a patient’s diagnostic information is stored in one place, with its full history and analytic reports.

Convenient, for each patient, a diagnostic assessment record is kept with options to edit and review, add new tests, or make new diagnostics.

Secure, Virtual Psychology’s DxP program is HIPAA compliant, ensuring patient information secrecy by strictly collecting general identifiers only (gender and approximate age). For more information about our patient privacy measures, see our HIPAA security documentation.

For practitioners, applying the DSM-5 is easier than ever

Mental health practitioners can enjoy a number of benefits from using the DxP in their clinical practice or research. With the DxP, applying the DSM-5 is not only more accurate and reliable, but it is also faster.

The DxP is easy to use and provides you with a systemic and informed diagnosis quickly. With the DxP’s Diagnoses Checker, detailed descriptions of symptoms, behaviors, and functioning can be entered. Within seconds, the DxP proposes the most likely diagnoses for you to review and establish a precise diagnosis. You may also use the Diagnoses Clusters to explore mental health disorders in categories, or the Diagnoses Lists to search through all the DSM-5 by disorder name or ICD-10-CM.

Moreover, the DxP goes way further than attaching a disorder to a patient’s ID. It also takes you through a diagnostic process that systematically evaluates the patient through the DSM-5’s methodology. The program provides information about each diagnosis and presents the criteria for the diagnosis. The diagnostician entries are saved and the program sets the appropriate specifiers of the diagnosis, with interactive scales for severity, duration, remission, and other clinically relevant specifiers of the diagnosis.

Though rigidly adherent to the DSM, the program accuracy requires clinical judgment and the clinician has ultimate control over the diagnostic process and its results.

With the integration of the program’s methodological approach and the clinician’s clinical judgment, the diagnostic process is straightforward to establish and the resulting analysis is insightful.

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The DxP strengthens students of the DSM-5 in their learning

At a time when the need for more mental health care is becoming a recognized issue, and with it a requirement for well-trained practitioners, the DxP is all the more essential for graduate students.

In our internal testing, graduate students who used the program to diagnose case studies made diagnoses more accurately and reliably compared to students who did not use it.

In the field, that means these young mental health practitioners can be reliable and helpful to their patients more quickly and with fewer risks of misdiagnosis.

Is there a risk that students might rely on the DxP too much? No, clinical judgment still applies and the diagnostic analysis still needs to be confirmed by the clinician. Furthermore, the DxP can also be used as a learning tool. Throughout each stage of the diagnostic process, there is detailed information available about disorders, scales, sub-criterion, and specifiers. Knowledge is available across the DxP, to help strengthen or refresh one’s psychopathology education.

Research with the DxP

When exploring the DSM-5 for mental health research, the DxP offers a selection of valuable options for additional information to enable better comparison within a group of patients when looking for patterns or correlations. You have the option to export diagnostic data as a CSV (comma-separated variables) file for further analysis. It is possible to export the patient’s demographics and assigned diagnoses, as its psychotic symptoms severity scale record.

The DxP Psychotic Symptoms Severity scale is based on the APA DSM-5 Clinician-Rated Dimensions of Psychosis Symptom Severity, and is presented within the DxP as an optional specifier in many psychotics disorders to monitor the presence and severity of eight psychotic symptoms on a 5-point scale, throughout the psychotic episode.

Notably, the Virtual Psychology toolset provides the foundation for exploring the relations between coded responses to the Rorschach test, DSM diagnoses, and mental disorders. For example, we can search to increase the test nomothetic predictive validity by associating test results, like Constellations, with specific mental disorders or clusters of disorders.

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For more details about the DxP program and its functions, consult our documentation.