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Classification Systems of Mental Disorders

            Over the past few decades, the study of psychopathology has proven to recognize the importance of the socio-cultural world in forming and maintaining psychological disorders (Kleinman, 1977), all mental disorders occur within a socio-cultural framework. Culture, is socially constructed and forever changing with time or in response to environmental changes (Alegria, Atkins, Farmer, Slaton, & Stelk, 2010). Current research is closely linking the social environment with expression of disease, risk of developments of mental disorder, and resiliency factors (Alegria et al., 2010). With symptom expression, risk, and prevalence of mental disorders varying across factors such as culture, gender, and age (Alegría, Pescosolido, Williams, & Canino, 2011). Today our society encompasses people form many different backgrounds, hence, there is now a shift to consider socio-cultural factors in the assessment and treatment of patients (Regier, Kuhl, & Kupfer, 2013). In fact the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) with its enhanced coverage of cultural considerations, now includes a separate discussion of culture in relation to differences in symptom expression, risk, course, and prevalence when evidence is available – this means that a large amount of disorders include information regarding such findings (Regier et al., 2013). The DSM-5 also has a strong empirical focus – evidence-based practice is preferred over intuitive interventions, as the benefits of basing treatments on research evidence will surely benefit clinical outcomes and aid in directing further research (Kirmayer, 2012). Therefore, today evidenced-based practice requires careful consideration of socio-cultural differences in the classification and treatment of people with mental disorders (Regier et al., 2013).
             In response to this requirement, the DSM-5 contains a revised Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI).

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