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November 1982

Reliability in the DSM-III Field TrialsInterview v Case Summary

Author Affiliations

From the Washington Heights Community Service (Dr Hyler) and the Biometrics Research Department (Drs Williams and Spitzer), New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, and the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York (Drs Hyler, Williams, and Spitzer).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(11):1275-1278. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290110035006

• A study compared the reliability of psychiatric diagnoses obtained from live interviews and from case summaries, on the same patients, by the same clinicians, using the same DSM-III diagnostic criteria. The results showed that the reliability of the major diagnostic classes of DSM-III was higher when diagnoses were made from live interviews than when they were made from case summaries. We conclude that diagnoses based on information contained in traditionally prepared case summaries may lead to an underestimation of the reliability of diagnoses made based on information collected during a “live” interview.