Psychiatry - Content Blueprint

Note: Because of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) publication, NCCPA will adapt its content blueprints, disease and disorder lists, and psychiatry-related terminology within test questions to conform to DSM-5 classifications and diagnostic criteria for all of our examinations beginning in 2015, according to the following timeline:

CAQ Examinations administered from August 2015 to July 2016:
In these examinations, psychiatry-related terminology within test questions will include the DSM-5 terminology followed by the DSM-IV-TR terminology in parentheses. Example: illness anxiety disorder (hypochondriasis)

Based on delays in implementation of DSM-5 guidelines within the field of psychiatry, NCCPA will continue to present psychiatry-related terminology within test questions in the manner outlined above until further notice.

For each content area, the following Areas of Interest are to be addressed:

                        1. Evaluation and diagnosis
                        2. Clinical neuroscience, including psychiatric genetics
                        3. Psychopharmacology
                        4. Psychotherapies
                        5. Age issues
                        6. Gender issues
                        7. Culture issues (e.g., religion and spirituality)
                        8. Comorbidity
                        9. Risk issues—medical/legal risk management

Depressive Disorders/Bipolar and Related Disorders (Mood Disorders) (16%)

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Persistent depressive disorder (Dysthymic disorder)
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern
  • Major depressive disorder with peripartum onset (Mood disorder with postpartum onset)
  • Depressive disorder due to another medical condition (Mood disorder due to a general medical condition)
  • Other specified/unspecified depressive disorder (Other mood disorder)

Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders/Other Mental Disorders (Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders) (14%)

  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Brief psychotic disorder
  • Unspecified mental disorder due to another medical condition (Mental disorder due to a general medical condition)
  • Unspecified mental disorder (Mental disorder not otherwise specified)
  • Delusional disorder
  • Other specified mental disorder (Other mental disorder)

Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders (Substance-Related Disorders) (13%)

  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • Stimulant-related disorders (Amphetamine-related disorders)
  • Hallucinogen-related disorders/Cannabis-related disorders
  • Tobacco-related disorders (Nicotine-related disorders)
  • Opioid-related disorders
  • Sedative-, hypnotic-, or anxiolytic-related disorders
  • Inhalant-related disorders
  • Stimulant-related disorders (Cocaine-related disorders)
  • Other (or unknown) substance-related disorders

Anxiety Disorders/Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders/Trauma-
and Stress-Related Disorders (Anxiety Disorders) (15%)

  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Phobias
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Anxiety disorder due to another medical condition (Anxiety disorder due to a general medical condition)
  • Other specified/unspecified anxiety disorder (Other anxiety disorder)

Personality Disorders (6%)

  • Paranoid
  • Schizoid
  • Schizotypal
  • Antisocial
  • Borderline
  • Narcissistic
  • Histrionic
  • Avoidant
  • Dependent
  • Other specified/unspecified personality disorder (Other personality disorder)

Neurocognitive Disorders (Cognitive Disorders) (11%)

  • Delirium
  • Major and mild neurocognitive disorders (Dementias)
  • Major and mild neurocognitive disorders due to HIV infection (Dementia due to HIV disease)
  • Major and mild neurocognitive disorders due to another medical condition (Dementia due to other general medical conditions)
  • Dissociative amnesia (Amnestic disorders)
  • Other specified/unspecified delirium and neurocognitive disorders (Other delirium, dementia, and cognitive disorders)

Ethics and Legal Issues (2%)

  • Reporting laws
  • Professional behavior
  • Confidentiality
  • Involuntary treatment
  • Patient competency
  • Legal issues
  • Bioethics
  • Malpractice
  • Suicide
  • Other ethics and legal issues

Life Cycle and Adjustment Disorders (4%)

  • Growth and development
  • Reproductive function
  • Menopause/andropause
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Death and dying
  • Other life cycle and adjustment disorders

Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Disorders of Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence) (4%)

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Tic disorders
  • Intellectual disabilities (Mental retardation)
  • Autism spectrum disorders (Pervasive developmental disorders)
  • Disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders (Disruptive behavior disorders)
  • Elimination disorders
  • Mood disorders associated with infancy/childhood/adolescence
  • Other specified/unspecified neurodevelopmental disorders (Other childhood psychiatric disorders)

Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders (Somatoform and Factitious Disorders) (3%)

  • Somatic symptom disorder (Somatization disorder)
  • Somatic symptom disorder (Somatoform disorder)
  • Functional neurologic symptom disorder (Conversion disorder)
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Pain disorders
  • Illness anxiety disorder (Hypochondriasis)
  • Malingering
  • Factitious disorders
  • Other specified/unspecified somatic symptom and related disorders (Other somatoform and factitious disorders)

Feeding and Eating Disorders (Eating Disorders) (3%)

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Obesity
  • Other specified/unspecified feeding and eating disorders (Other eating disorders)

Sexual Dysfunction, Gender Dysphoria, and Paraphilic Disorders (Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders) (2%)

  • Paraphilic disorders (Paraphilias)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Gender dysphoria (Gender identity disorder)
  • Other specified/unspecified sexual dysfunction, gender dysphoria, and paraphilic disorders (Other sexual and gender identity disorders)

Dissociative Disorders (1%)

  • Dissociative identity disorder
  • Depersonalization/derealization disorder (Depersonalization disorder)
  • Dissociative amnesia
  • Dissociative amnesia with dissociative fugue (Dissociative fugue)
  • Other specified/unspecified dissociative disorders (Other dissociative disorders)

Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders (Impulse-Control Disorders) (2%)

  • Gambling disorder (Pathologic gambling)
  • Intermittent explosive disorder
  • Kleptomania
  • Pyromania
  • Trichotillomania
  • Other specified/unspecified disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders (Other impulse-control disorders)

Sleep-Wake Disorders (Primary Sleep Disorders) (4%)

  • Dyssomnias
  • Parasomnias
  • Substance-induced sleep disorder
  • Other specified/unspecified insomnia, hypersomnolence, and sleep-wake disorders (Other sleep disorders)

Psychiatry - Disease/Disorder List

To view a list of some of the diseases and disorders that may appear on the Psychiatry CAQ Examination, click here. Keep in mind that the list may not be all-inclusive of the topics covered on the exam.

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