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The Reliability of the Family History Method for Psychiatric Diagnoses

Mark Zimmerman; William Coryell, MD; Bruce Pfohl, MD; Dalene Stangl, MA
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(4):320-322. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800280030004.
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• We evaluated the test-retest interrater reliability of the Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria (FH-RDC) in 58 depressed patients who described 341 first-degree relatives. Reliability was examined as a function of the threshold to determine caseness. In general, diagnostic reliability was good-excellent for specific FH-RDC disorders, but not for the residual category of other psychiatric disorder. A higher diagnostic threshold was associated with greater reliability, especially for the diagnosis of depression. Patient variance accounted for a greater percentage of the disagreements between the acthan did rater variance.


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