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Concurrent Diagnostic Validity of a Structured Psychiatric Interview

John E. Helzer, MD; Paula J. Clayton, MD; Robert Pambakian, MD; Robert A. Woodruff Jr, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(7):849-853. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770310055003.
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• 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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