[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 17, 1997

Minds and MachinesInteractive Voice Response Technology to Detect Mental Disorders

JAMA. 1997;278(11):945-946. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550110083042

Interacting over the telephone with a machine, rather than a person, by listening to a menu of recorded voice options and responding by pressing numbers on a push-button telephone has become one of the realities defining life in the current era. Experiencing these interactive voice response (IVR) systems can be frustrating if the menu doesn't lead to a satisfactory result, but the convenience and continuous around-the-clock availability of such systems are major advantages, and dissatisfied users may forget that having direct access to a person at the other end of the line doesn't guarantee a good outcome.

See also p 905.

The use of computer-automated IVR systems is also expanding into one of the most personal areas of human experience—the evaluation and treatment of mental disorders.1 The use of computerized systems for collecting data and administering rating scales2 on mental health topics seems straightforward enough, but there has even