communication, conceptualization, and treatment planning than the clinicians suggested in the current study.
An alternative approach to assessing clinical utility would be to obtain more behavioral outcome measures (First et al., 2004). For example, utility for communication with clients could be assessed by providing to novice clients a description of their personality disorder in terms of the FFM and the DSM and then asking them which they found to be more helpful or useful in understanding themselves. Utility for communication with other professionals could be assessed by providing clinicians with FFM and DSM conceptualizations of the same case, and then asking them which was more useful as a treatment referral.
The reliability of the DSM and FFM ratings obtained in the current study do not provide an accurate estimate of the reliability of the DSM and FFM assessments that would be obtained in general clinical practice, as the assessments in the current study were confined to a consideration of a 1.5 page case vignette. A more ecologically valid approach would be to ask clinicians to apply the FFM and the DSM to an actual client using alternative methods of assessments that are routinely used (e.g., unstructured clinical interview, self-report inventory, and/or semi-structured interview).
One could also ask clinicians to apply the DSM and the FFM to an existing client who has already been diagnosed with a respective DSM-IV personality disorder. However, a limitation of this approach is that, not only would the clinicians have already been trained in terms of the language and concepts of the DSM, they would have already developed a conceptualization of that particular patient in terms of the DSM-IV. A variation of this design