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Nord J Psychiatry. 2004;58(4):287-91.

Screening of psychiatric disorders via the Internet. A pilot study with tinnitus patients.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping, Sweden.


Tinnitus has been associated with psychiatric disorders and more recently diagnostic tools have been used in a systematic manner. In the present study, we administered the World Health Organisation's Composite International Diagnostic Interview--Short form (CIDI-SF) in a computerized Internet-based version to a self-selected sample of tinnitus patients (n=48). Using the cut-off for 'probable case' (12-month prevalence), 69% of the tinnitus patients fulfilled the criteria for depression, 60% for generalized anxiety disorder, 83% for specific phobia, 67% for social phobia, 58% for agoraphobia, 21% panic attack, 83% obsessive-compulsive disorder, 2% alcohol dependence and 0% drug dependence. Decreased percentages were found for depression (4%), specific phobia (62%) and social phobia (27%) when applying a more conservative criteria (maximum case criteria). In conclusion, the findings suggest that the Internet version of CIDI-SF can be used as a screening tool for psychiatric disturbance in somatic patients, but that diagnostic criteria need to be adjusted for Internet use.

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