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Adjustment disorder: current perspectives

Authors Zelviene P, Kazlauskas E

Received 9 October 2017

Accepted for publication 18 December 2017

Published 25 January 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 375—381

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S121072

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Paulina Zelviene, Evaldas Kazlauskas

Department of Clinical and Organizational Psychology, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

Abstract: Adjustment disorder (AjD) is among the most often diagnosed mental disorders in clinical practice. This paper reviews current status of AjD research and discusses scientific and clinical issues associated with AjD. AjD has been included in diagnostic classifications for over 50 years. Still, the diagnostic criteria for AjD remain vague and cause difficulties to mental health professionals. Controversies in definition resulted in the lack of reliable and valid measures of AjD. Epidemiological data on prevalence of AjD is scarce and not reliable because prevalence data are biased by the diagnostic algorithm, which is usually developed for each study, as no established diagnostic standards for AjD are available. Considerable changes in the field of AjD could follow after the release of the 11th edition of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). A new AjD symptom profile was introduced in ICD-11 with 2 main symptoms as follows: 1) preoccupation and 2) failure to adapt. However, differences between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition and ICD-11 AjD diagnostic criteria could result in diverse research findings in the future. The best treatment approach for AjD remains unclear, and further treatment studies are needed to provide AjD treatment guidelines to clinicians.

Keywords: adjustment disorder, review, diagnosis, prevalence, treatment, DSM, ICD

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