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Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;164(1):115-8.

Diagnostic reliability of telepsychiatry in American Indian veterans.

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  • 1American Indian and Alaska Native Programs, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building, Mail Stop F800, P.O. Box 6508, Aurora, CO 80045-0508, USA.



This study examined the reliability of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) in the administration of psychiatric assessments by real-time videoconferencing compared to face-to-face assessment within a rural American Indian community.


The SCID was administered to 53 male American Indian veterans who were randomly assigned over two separate occasions by different interviewers to face-to-face and real-time interactive videoconferencing within 2 weeks. Comparisons were made with prevalences, the McNemar test, and the kappa statistic.


With the exception of past-year substance dependence and abuse/dependence combined, there were no significant differences between face-to-face and videoconference administration. The majority of kappas calculated (76%) indicated a good or fair level of agreement. Externalizing disorders tended to elicit greater concordance than internalizing disorders.


Overall, SCID assessment by live interactive videoconferencing did not differ significantly from face-to-face assessment in this population. Videoconferencing is a viable vehicle for clinical and research purposes.

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