Comparability of telephone and In-person structured clinical interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) diagnoses

Assessment. 1999 Sep;6(3):235-42. doi: 10.1177/107319119900600304.


The SCID was administered twice, once by telephone and once in person (1 week later) to 41 college age men. For major depression (lifetime k =.64, current k =.66), results indicated good agreement. The lifetime occurrence estimate based on the telephone SCID diagnosis was lower than the in-person SCID estimate. Kappas for specific diagnoses were calculable for simple phobia (lifetime k =. 47, current k = .03) and social phobia (lifetime k =.29). Base rates were less than 10% for all individual diagnoses except lifetime major depression; therefore, the kappas may be unstable. For all diagnoses where there were any positive cases, percentages of negative agreement and specificity were high, whereas percentages of positive agreement and sensitivity were lower. Overall agreement was fair for specific lifetime diagnoses but poor for current diagnoses. These results suggest caution in assuming comparability of in-person and telephone SCID diagnoses. Circumstances under which a telephone SCID may be useful and ways to improve reliability are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological / methods*
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Telephone*
  • United States