May 1986

Reliability of Follow-up Assessments of Depressed Inpatients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(5):468-470. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800050074008

• Twenty-one depressed inpatients were followed up for six months after hospital admission. One rater assessed the patients at monthly intervals, and an independent rater assessed symptoms and treatment for the same period at the end of the six-month follow-up. Ratings of audiotapes of the monthly interviews by a third rater achieved excellent reliability. Fair to excellent agreement was also found between the monthly and six-month interviews. Reliability was lowest during the first month of the follow-up period. Unexpectedly, at the six-month interview more rather than fewer symptoms were reported for the most remote part of the follow-up interval. Our results suggest that at the six-month interview patients had reevaluated their functioning for the immediate postdischarge period.