Diagnostic interview for genetic studies (DIGS): inter-rater and test-retest reliability of the French version

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1999;249(4):174-9. doi: 10.1007/s004060050084.


The National Institute of Mental Health developed the semi-structured Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS) for the assessment of major mood and psychotic disorders and their spectrum conditions. The DIGS was translated into French in a collaborative effort of investigators from sites in France and Switzerland. Inter-rater and test-retest reliability of the French version have been established in a clinical sample in Lausanne. Excellent inter-rater reliability was found for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and unipolar schizoaffective disorder while fair inter-rater reliability was demonstrated for bipolar schizoaffective disorder. Using a six-week test-retest interval, reliability for all diagnoses was found to be fair to good with the exception of bipolar schizoaffective disorder. The lower test-retest reliability was the result of a relatively long test-retest interval that favored incomplete symptom recall. In order to increase reliability for lifetime diagnoses in persons not currently affected, best-estimate procedures using additional sources of diagnostic information such as medical records and reports from relatives should supplement DIGS information in family-genetic studies. Within such a procedure, the DIGS appears to be a useful part of data collection for genetic studies on major mood disorders and schizophrenia in French-speaking populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • France
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Observer Variation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*