Reliability of DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorders: implications for the classification of emotional disorders

J Abnorm Psychol. 2001 Feb;110(1):49-58. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.110.1.49.


The reliability of current and lifetime Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) anxiety and mood disorders was examined in 362 outpatients who underwent 2 independent administrations of the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV: Lifetime version (ADIS-IV-L). Good to excellent reliability was obtained for the majority of DSM-IV categories. For many disorders, a common source of unreliability was disagreements on whether constituent symptoms were sufficient in number, severity, or duration to meet. DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. These analyses also highlighted potential boundary problems for some disorders (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder). Analyses of ADIS-IV-L clinical ratings (0-8 scales) indicated favorable interrater agreement for the dimensional features of DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorders. The findings are discussed in regard to their implications for the classification of emotional disorders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / classification
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / classification
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Observer Variation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index