Appraising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual against Recovery philosophies in elderly dementia


  • Robyn Aldrich Social work intern at the Auckland District Health Board, currently on placement with Mental Health Services for Older Persons. Undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Health (Allied Mental Health) at Victoria University.



older people, elderly people, DSM, recovery philosophies, dementia, social work practice,


This article looks at the history of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) classification system, its role and limitations, while making comparisons and contrasts to Recovery philosophies in relation to elderly dementia from a social work perspective. It was found that the clinician, caregiver and patient can all play a role in Recovery, and while not comparable the DSM complements psychosocial models of Recovery. It was also found that with the diversification and expansion of an increasing ageing population, gerontological social workers will need to modify and adapt practice skills and interventions as changes in evidence-based practices of Recovery and the DSM are disseminated at a faster rate.


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How to Cite

Aldrich, R. (2017). Appraising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual against Recovery philosophies in elderly dementia. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 21(1), 22–30.