Diagnostic reliability of telepsychiatry in American Indian veterans

Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;164(1):115-8. doi: 10.1176/ajp.2007.164.1.115.


Objective: This study examined the reliability of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) in the administration of psychiatric assessments by real-time videoconferencing compared to face-to-face assessment within a rural American Indian community.

Method: The SCID was administered to 53 male American Indian veterans who were randomly assigned over two separate occasions by different interviewers to face-to-face and real-time interactive videoconferencing within 2 weeks. Comparisons were made with prevalences, the McNemar test, and the kappa statistic.

Results: With the exception of past-year substance dependence and abuse/dependence combined, there were no significant differences between face-to-face and videoconference administration. The majority of kappas calculated (76%) indicated a good or fair level of agreement. Externalizing disorders tended to elicit greater concordance than internalizing disorders.

Conclusions: Overall, SCID assessment by live interactive videoconferencing did not differ significantly from face-to-face assessment in this population. Videoconferencing is a viable vehicle for clinical and research purposes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Remote Consultation / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Videoconferencing / standards