A comparison of clinical and diagnostic interview schedule diagnoses. Physician reexamination of lay-interviewed cases in the general population

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985 Jul;42(7):657-66. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790300019003.


We examined the level of agreement between diagnoses derived from data gathered by lay interviewers using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) in a general population survey (the Epidemiologic Catchment Area project) and both DIS and clinical diagnoses made by psychiatrists. Overall percent agreement between the lay DIS and the psychiatrists clinical impression ranged from 79% to 96%. The chance-corrected concordance was .60 or better for eight of the 11 diagnoses. Specificities were all 90% or better. Sensitivities were lower, but lay results showed a bias for only two diagnoses: major depression was significantly underdiagnosed and obsessive illness was overdiagnosed. We compared the present results with those of previous studies from clinical settings. We explored possible reasons for disagreement and discussed the implications of the findings for psychiatric epidemiologic research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Epidemiologic Methods / standards
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological*
  • Manuals as Topic
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics
  • United States