DSM-5 Assessments

Section III of the DSM-5 contains assessments that are intended to assist clinicians in diagnosing clients and monitoring their progress during treatment. These assessments are relatively new, and thus they are not intended to be used as sole diagnostic tools.

The DSM-5 assessment webpage is located here.

Level 1 Cross Cutting Symptom Measures

The Level 1 DSM-5 assessments cover multiple diagnostic domains. There are three versions of the Level 1 assessments including an adult version, a child and adolescent version, and a parent rating of a child or adolescent. The parental rating form is designed for children aged 6-17, wile the child and adolescent self-report measure is intended for children and adolescents between 11 and 17. The adult version is for ages 18+.

Level 1 Domains

Child & Adolescent Adult
  1. Somatic Symptoms
  2. Sleep Problems
  3. Inattention
  4. Depression
  5. Anger
  6. Irritability
  7. Mania
  8. Anxiety
  9. Psychosis
  10. Repetitive Thoughts & Behaviors
  11. Substance Use
  12. Suicidal Ideation/ Suicide Attempts
  1. Depression
  2. Anger
  3. Mania
  4. Anxiety
  5. Somatic Symptoms
  6. Suicidal Ideation
  7. Psychosis
  8. Sleep Problems
  9. Memory
  10. Repetitive Thoughts & Behaviors
  11. Dissociation
  12. Personality Functioning
  13. Substance Use

Level 2 Measures

After engaging a client in an initial broad assessment, such as the DSM-5 Level 1 Crosscutting Symptom Measure, a counselor may choose to use more specific follow up assessments. The DSM-5 contains many Level 2 assessments that are specific to DSM-5 diagnoses. Similar to the Level 1 assessments, these are available in an adult version for ages 18+, a child and adolescent version for ages 11 to 17, and a parent rating version for ages 6 to 17.

The full list of Level 2 assessments is available on the DSM-5 Online Assessment Measures webpage.

Disorder-Specific Severity Measures

These measures are intended for clinicians who want to track clients' treatment progress across time. They are short instruments, which can be given at the beginning of every session, to evaluate the extent to which a client's symptoms are diminishing.

The Disorder-Specific Severity Measures are available on the DSM-5 Online Assessment Measures webpage.

Disability Measures

The DSM-5 quantifies disability using a scale developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), called the World Health Organization Disability Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0). The WHODAS 2.0 measures disability across six domains:

  • Understanding and Communicating
  • Getting around
  • Self-care
  • Getting along with people
  • Life activities
  • Participation in society
World Health Organization

Complex scoring templates as well as normative score information is available here.

Personality Inventories

Depending on their theoretical orientation and approach to treatment, some counselors may be interested in measuring personality traits, such as attention seeking, deceitfulness, manipulativeness, risk taking, and others. There are DSM-5 inventories for measuring personality for children and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 17 as well as for adults aged 18+.

The DSM-5 Personality inventories are available on the DSM-5 Online Assessment Measures Page.

Early Development and Home Background

Early development can have profound impacts on functioning and wellness across the lifespan, and counselors will likely want to consider the impact of clients' development when they are conceptualizing their clients. Spend some time checking out the Early Development and Home Background Measures on the DSM-5 Assessment webpage. While you review the measures, try to conceptualize how different developmental anomalies might impact a client.

Cultural Formulation Interviews

It is important for counselors to consider clients' cultures when diagnosing, conceptualizing, and treating them. The DSM-5 includes the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) as well as Supplementary Modules to the CFI. There is a separate informant version that a counselor can use if they are working with an informant, instead of directly with the client.