Psychiatric diagnoses: A study of how they are made
- Kendell, R. E.
- British Journal of Psychiatry, 122, 437-445
- An online version of the paper can be found here
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A series of videotapes of brief diagnostic interviews, lasting only five minutes each, were held with a series of 28 patients at the time of their admission to hospital and then presented to groups of experienced psychiatrists who were required to make a diagnosis and a number of other ratings for each….
The content of each interview was presented in 3 alternatives ways—as a videotape, as an audiotape, or as a written transcript. All the author’s test are targeted towards understanding how different aspects of the information set affect judgement accuracy and reliability.
The null hypothesis is that behavioral cues from audio and video will help a psychiatrist diagnosis behavioral problems–Seems reasonable.
Here are the core results from the test.
- The rater’s diagnoses were the same as the final hospital diagnosis in 48-50% after only 2 minutes of interview, and 60-64% at 5 minutes.
- Inner-rater agreement was over 75% under all 3 rating conditions.
The most fascinating result is that the transcript only information is the best information set to facilitate accurate and reliable forecasts. Behavioral cues had no ability to help predict behavioral issues.
Less is more. In the words of Kendell (p. 443):
…it is actually an advantage for the total quantity of information to be restricted.”
Thoughts on the paper?
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