Validity of a short clinical interview for psychiatric diagnosis: the mini-SCAN

Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;196(1):64-8. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.066563.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software