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April 1981

Reliability Studies of Psychiatric DiagnosisTheory and Practice

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City (Mr Grove and Dr Andreasen); New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York (Ms McDonald-Scott); and the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass (Drs Keller and Shapiro).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(4):408-413. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780290042004

• The existing literature on the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis falls into two periods, the earlier reporting low reliability and the latter reporting much higher figures. The reasons for this trend are examined in the context of a discussion of the design of diagnostic reliability studies. The problems of research design and execution in studies of diagnostic reliability are reviewed, and statistical problems are examined. Solutions to many of these problems are suggested, including recommendations of appropriate reliability coefficients and data analyses.