Clinical utility, or the usefulness of a diagnostic system in clinical practice, has been identified as an important construct in proposed revisions to the diagnostic nomenclature and a significant limitation of dimensional models of personality disorder, such as the five-factor model (FFM). Only one study to date has addressed explicitly the clinical utility of the FFM and the findings suggested significant limitations. In the current study, 245 practicing psychologists described three historic cases using both the FFM and the DSM-IV and then rated each model on six aspects of clinical utility. In contrast to prior research, the psychologists in this study considered the FFM to have greater clinical utility than the existing diagnostic categories.
Keywords: personality disorder, dimensional, alternative, Ted Bundy, psychopathology