Comparison of Chinese and international psychiatrists' views on classification of mental disorders

Y.F. Dai, X. Yu, Z.P. Xiao*, Y.F. Xu, M. Zhao, J. Mendonca Correia, M. Maj, G.M. Reed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


IntroductionThis study aimed to explore the views and attitudes of Chinese psychiatrists on mental disorders classification, and to compare their similarities and differences with those of the international mental health professionals. MethodsTwo hundred and ninety members of the Chinese Society of Psychiatry were invited to participate in the study and 211 completed the survey. ResultsNinety-one percent of Chinese participants regularly used a formal classification system, with more users of the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10; 48.8%) or Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders 3rd Edition (39.3%) than the 4th Edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (11.4%). Like their global counterparts, Chinese respondents regarded communication among clinicians as the most important purpose of a classification and preferred a simpler system with fewer categories. Chinese psychiatrists were more likely than international participants to prefer a system with strict diagnostic criteria for all disorders and to endorse problems with a cultural applicability of the classification. However, only a minority (31.3%) indicated that they saw a need for a national classification. DiscussionOverall, Chinese psychiatrists have similar opinions and attitudes on most issues of the classification to the international clinicians. Areas of divergent views may provide meaningful information for ICD revision in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalAsia-Pacific Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • classification
  • cross-cultural applicability
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
  • International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
  • mental disorder
  • DSM-IV

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