Background: To promote clinical application of the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) system a shorter version (the mini-SCAN) was devised. Its psychometric properties were unknown.
Aims: To establish the validity and practical properties of the mini-SCAN.
Method: One hundred and six participants were interviewed twice, once with the SCAN and once with the mini-SCAN. The level of agreement was established for the categories: no disorder, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, non-affective psychotic disorders, affective psychotic disorders.
Results: The mini-SCAN is a valid instrument. Most kappa values were around 0.90. Only for the class of affective psychotic disorders was the agreement moderate. Mean duration of the mini-SCAN interviews was 25 min shorter than the SCAN interviews. Participants and interviewers were generally satisfied with the interview format and questions.
Conclusions: The mini-SCAN can be used as a diagnostic instrument for clinical purposes and for clinical studies when the present episode is the focus of attention.