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December 1982

Diagnostic Interview Schedule

Author Affiliations

Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health 615 N Wolfe St Baltimore, MD 21205

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(12):1443. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290120075015

To the Editor.  — A recent article in the Archives by Robins et al (1981;38:381-389) described a new structured interview, the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS), that yields DSM-III diagnostic data and that is suitable for administration by lay interviewers. We have used this instrument in our work on the Eastern Baltimore Mental Health Survey, part of the NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area program,1 and have some observations that may be of interest to potential users of the DIS.Srole and Fischer2 questioned whether community respondents will provide the detailed information on psychiatric symptoms required by a DIS interview. Our experience, both in a pilot test in the community and in field work, has been that respondents do not resist providing information on psychiatric symptoms. In both, we experienced very low rates of item refusal, and only nine of more than 3,400 interviewees broke off the interview

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