Use of video conferencing for psychiatric and forensic evaluations

Psychiatr Serv. 2006 May;57(5):713-5. doi: 10.1176/ps.2006.57.5.713.


Objective: This study investigated whether the quality of results from video interviews is comparable with that of in-person interviews.

Methods: Interrater reliabilities for two video conference interview conditions were compared with those for in-person interviews with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Anchored Version and the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Criminal Adjudication, given to 72 forensic inpatients. The video conditions included in-person and remote interviewers. In the first condition, an in-person interviewer administered the instruments, with remote observation and scoring. The second condition entailed remote administration and an in-person observer. The third condition used an in-person interviewer and observer.

Results: Good to excellent reliabilities resulted from all conditions with intraclass correlations of .69 to .82.

Conclusions: Results suggest that providers can expect remote interviews to provide clinical information similar to that obtained by in-person interviews.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale / standards
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale / statistics & numerical data
  • Forensic Psychiatry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mental Competency / psychology
  • Mental Competency / standards
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Remote Consultation / standards
  • Remote Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Videoconferencing / standards*
  • Videoconferencing / statistics & numerical data