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A primary care version of the International classification of diseases (10th revision) chapter five for mental and behavioural disorders (ICD-10 PHC chapter five) has been developed. This provisional version focuses on 24 conditions which are frequently seen in primary care and which can be managed effectively by general practitioners. The classification is accompanied by a flipcard for each of the conditions. The cards have diagnostic guidelines on one side and management guidelines on the other. The latter provide information which should be given to the patient, advice on the content of counselling, the available treatment methods, and indications for specialist referral. This classification system is also supported by diagnostic decision making aids, medication cards, and patient leaflets to facilitate the recognition and management of patients with mental disorders in primary care settings. The draft version of ICD-10 PHC chapter five will be finalized after field trials which will test the applicability and usefulness of the system in different primary care settings in various countries.