Computer diagnosis of depression and anxiety: the Stirling County Study

Psychol Med. 1985 Feb;15(1):99-112. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700020961.


A computer programme (DPAX) was constructed for a longitudinal study of psychiatric epidemiology in Stirling County (Canada). It identifies disorders involving the syndromes of depression and anxiety based on responses given in structured questionnaire interviews. The programme follows a diagnostic algorithm that uses criteria for: (1) essential features; (2) number, frequency, and pattern of associated symptoms; (3) impairment; and (4) duration. The programme reproduces case evaluations provided by psychiatrists, as conveyed by a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 98%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Canada
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Software