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Other Specified and Unspecified Diagnoses

Other specified and unspecified diagnoses is a term that is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), and generally replaces the “not otherwise specified” (NOS) diagnoses that were present in the DSM-III and DSM-IV. This entry focuses on defining these diagnostic classifications and reviewing how they came to be, as well as understanding the prevalence of other specified and unspecified diagnoses and the consequences of these labels.

Definition and History

The shift from NOS diagnoses to “other specified and unspecified diagnoses” in the DSM-5 was made to align with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which requires codes for physical and mental health disorders that do not perfectly fit the diagnostic classifications. The “other specified” and “unspecified” ...

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