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Psychiatr Serv. 1998 Aug;49(8):1086-8.

Reliability and acceptability of psychiatric diagnosis via telecommunication and audiovisual technology.

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Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Maryland 21201, USA.


The reliability of psychiatric diagnoses made remotely by telecommunication was examined. Two trained interviewers each interviewed the same 30 psychiatric inpatients using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. Fifteen subjects had two in-person interviews, and 15 subjects had one in-person and one remote interview via telecommunication. Interrater reliability was calculated for the four most common diagnoses: major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and alcohol dependence. For each diagnosis, interrater reliability (kappa statistic) was identical or almost identical for the patients who had two in-person interviews and those who had an in-person and a remote interview, suggesting that reliable psychiatric diagnoses can be made via telecommunication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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