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July 1978

Concurrent Diagnostic Validity of a Structured Psychiatric Interview

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. Dr Pambakian is now with the Department of Psychiatry University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(7):849-853. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770310055003

• In order to estimate the concurrent validity of a structured psychiatric interview, we compared interview diagnoses obtained for 101 psychiatric inpatients to those recorded in the same patients' hospital charts. For most diagnoses considered, concordance was found to be high. For those in which concordance was low, we examined the reasons for the diagnostic discrepancy. Diagnostic errors that were judged to have occurred on the basis of the structured interview often seemed to have resulted from a lack of longitudinal clinical observation. However, more errors were judged to have occurred in the hospital charts, apparently because of physician oversight. We conclude that the concurrent validity of this structured interview is high and that such examinations might be useful not only for research but also for the routine initial evaluation of psychiatric patients.

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