February 1981

Reliability of Psychiatric Diagnosis in Hospitalized AdolescentsInterrater Agreement Using DSM-III

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California at Los Angeles Center for Health Sciences.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(2):141-145. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780270027002

• To determine the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis in hospitalized adolescents, 95 consecutively admitted patients were diagnosed independently by two experienced clinicians using DSM-III criteria. Diagnostic judgments were based on joint interview of the patient via a structured mental-status examination, nursing observations, and referral materials. Concordance was analyzed by the K coefficient. A total of 13 DSM-III categories were used to classify this cohort, with the majority of categories representing traditional syndromes of functional psychopathology. There was complete agreement between the raters for more than three fourths of the patients. Levels of agreement for the categories of schizophrenia and major affective disorder were similar to values obtained in recent studies of adult patients. The results are discussed in relation to historical conceptions of adolescent psychopathology.