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Running Head: CLINICIANS’ JUDGMENTS OF CLINICAL UTILITY - page 32 / 41

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of personality disorder, such as those proposed by Clark, Simms, Wu, and Casillas (in press), Livesley (2003), Shedler and Westen (2004), and others. It is quite possible that one or more of these other dimensional models would also obtain higher clinical utility ratings than the DSM and/or the FFM. It would be especially informative for such studies to identify the specific component(s) of the alternative models that are the source of any higher or lower clinical utility ratings. The alternative dimensional models of personality disorder overlap substantially in their coverage of maladaptive personality functioning (Markon, Krueger, & Watson, 2005; Widiger & Mullins-Sweatt, 2005) and it is quite feasible that each model, and components of each model, has particular advantages and disadvantages. If future editions of the diagnostic manual include a dimensional model of personality disorder, the decision might not be to simply choose one model in preference to all of the alternatives. Instead, the optimal choice might instead be an integrated representation of the particular strengths of the various models (Widiger & Simonsen, 2005).

Conclusions

Reservations and even skepticism regarding the clinical utility of the FFM have been expressed. Such reservations are reasonable given the lack of familiarity of most clinicians with the FFM and the limited amount of clinical literature describing its application. In addition, there has been only one published study that has addressed explicitly its clinical utility, and the findings were quite negative (Sprock, 2003). The results of the current study, however, suggest that clinicians find the FFM personality descriptions to have significantly greater clinical utility than the DSM personality disorder diagnoses with respect to the provision of a global personality

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