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Psychiatry Res. 2008 Oct 30;161(1):126-30. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Aug 30.

Web-based training and interrater reliability testing for scoring the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States.


Despite the importance of establishing shared scoring conventions and assessing interrater reliability in clinical trials in psychiatry, these elements are often overlooked. Obstacles to rater training and reliability testing include logistic difficulties in providing live training sessions, or mailing videotapes of patients to multiple sites and collecting the data for analysis. To address some of these obstacles, a web-based interactive video system was developed. It uses actors of diverse ages, gender and race to train raters how to score the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and to assess interrater reliability. This system was tested with a group of experienced and novice raters within a single site. It was subsequently used to train raters of a federally funded multi-center clinical trial on scoring conventions and to test their interrater reliability. The advantages and limitations of using interactive video technology to improve the quality of clinical trials are discussed.

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