Objective: To describe the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version IV (NIMH DISC-IV) and how it differs from earlier versions of the interview. The NIMH DISC-IV is a highly structured diagnostic interview, designed to assess more than 30 psychiatric disorders occurring in children and adolescents, and can be administered by "lay" interviewers after a minimal training period. The interview is available in both English and Spanish versions.
Method: An editorial board was established in 1992 to guide DISC development and ensure that a standard version of the instrument is maintained. Preliminary reliability and acceptability results of the NIMH DISC-IV in a clinical sample of 84 parents and 82 children (aged 9-17 years) drawn from outpatient child and adolescent psychiatric clinics at 3 sites are presented. Results of the previous version in a community sample are reviewed.
Results: Despite its greater length and complexity, the NIMH DISC-IV compares favorably with earlier versions. Alternative versions of the interview are in development (the Present State DISC, the Teacher DISC, the Quick DISC, the Voice DISC).
Conclusions: The NIMH DISC is an acceptable, inexpensive, and convenient instrument for ascertaining a comprehensive range of child and adolescent diagnoses.