Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Psychol Med. 2019 Mar 11:1-8. doi: 10.1017/S0033291719000394. [Epub ahead of print]

Using life history calendars to improve measurement of lifetime experience with mental disorders.

Author information

1
Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan,426 Thompson St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2321,USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit,Harvard Medical School; Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital,Boston, MA,USA.
3
Department of Psychological Medicine,Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago,Dunedin,New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Retrospective reports of lifetime experience with mental disorders greatly underestimate the actual experiences of disorder because recall error biases reporting of earlier life symptoms downward. This fundamental obstacle to accurate reporting has many adverse consequences for the study and treatment of mental disorders. Better tools for accurate retrospective reporting of mental disorder symptoms have the potential for broad scientific benefits.

METHODS:

We designed a life history calendar (LHC) to support this task, and randomized more than 1000 individuals to each arm of a retrospective diagnostic interview with and without the LHC. We also conducted a careful validation with the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition.

RESULTS:

Results demonstrate that-just as with frequent measurement longitudinal studies-use of an LHC in retrospective measurement can more than double reports of lifetime experience of some mental disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

The LHC significantly improves retrospective reporting of mental disorders. This tool is practical for application in both large cross-sectional surveys of the general population and clinical intake of new patients.

KEYWORDS:

CIDI; Life History Calendar; disorder under-reporting; lifetime prevalence; recall; retrospective reporting

PMID:
30854987
DOI:
10.1017/S0033291719000394

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center