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November 1981

Mastering the Art of Research InterviewingA Model Training Procedure for Diagnostic Evaluation

Author Affiliations

From the Research Assessment and Training Unit, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York (Ms Gibbon, Ms McDonald-Scott, and Dr Endicott), and the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York (Ms Gibbon and Dr Endicott).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(11):1259-1262. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780360075007

• A training program for researchers using standard clinical assessment procedures has been developed to enhance comparability of findings across studies through reducing critical sources of unreliability. The need for such a program is especially important in large multifacility collaborative studies in which the pooling of diagnostic and rating-scale data is planned. The program described here focuses on the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia and Research Diagnostic Criteria, two instruments widely used in clinical research. It consists of the following four phases of training: use of written case vignettes, videotaped interviews, in-person training interviews, and ongoing monitoring to maintain reliability. Checks on reliability are built into each successive phase of training. This program can serve as a model for training in the use of other standard interview assessment procedures requiring clinical judgment.