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Mnemonics for diagnostic criteria of DSM V mental disorders: a scoping review
  1. Pavan Kumar Kadiyala
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Alluri Sitarama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences, Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pavan Kumar Kadiyala; drkadiyala2{at}


A multitude of psychiatric disorders have been described in classification systems like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM V). Diagnosing a specific mental disorder requires memorising specific symptom criteria, and their improper recall may result in misdiagnosis. Clinicians may use mnemonics, considering them as narratives or anecdotes of the diagnostic criteria. A scoping review of previously described mnemonics for DSM diagnostic criteria was carried out. An electronic search was done in PubMed, Google Scholar, Google Books and Google Search engine using a prespecified search strategy. Reference lists of relevant articles and chapters were hand searched to identify original and additional articles. Mnemonics retrieved from websites were manually searched in Google to identify published journal articles or chapters for the same mnemonics. Additionally, some mnemonics were developed, modified or added based on the author’s knowledge. The comprehensive search identified 93 records (44 journal articles, 45 books and 4 websites) eligible for the review. Most of the mnemonics retrieved were related in some way to the disorder itself. They were listed under the heading of their respective disorders and indexed in the same order as in DSM V. The mnemonics that reflect a facet of their respective disorders were elaborated in detail.

  • mnemonics
  • mental disorder
  • psychiatry
  • DSM

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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