DSM-III field trials: I. Initial interrater diagnostic reliability

Am J Psychiatry. 1979 Jun;136(6):815-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.136.6.815.


The interrater agreement for major diagnostic categories in studies using DSM-I and DSM-II was usually only fair or poor. In phase one of the DSM-III field trials the overall kappa coefficient of agreement for axis I diagnoses of 281 adult patients was .78 for joint interviews and .66 for diagnoses made after separate interviews; for axis II--personality disorders and specific developmental disorders--the coefficients of agreement were .61 and .54. The interrater reliability of DSM--III is, in general, higher than that previously achieved and may be due to changes in the classification itself, the separation of axis I from axis II conditions, the systematic description of the various disorders, and the inclusion of diagnostic criteria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Manuals as Topic*
  • Mental Disorders / classification
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • United States