The Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-auto)

Problems and Remedies for Diagnosing Panic Disorder and Social Phobia

Published in: International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2003, p. 167-181

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2002

by Adrienne Means-Christensen, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Peter Roy-Byrne, Michelle G. Craske, Alexander Bystritsky, Murray Stein

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In a recent study of treatment for panic disorder in primary care, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-Auto) was used to provide psychiatric diagnoses. However, during and after data collection, it was discovered that the CIDI appeared to place, or fail to place, a substantial number of people into diagnostic categories in ways that conflicted with the investigators' clinical experience. The wording of questions in the panic module, coupled with a lack of structured follow-up probes, resulted in apparent false negatives for panic disorder. Moreover, patients who would otherwise meet criteria for panic disorder or social phobia did not receive a diagnosis based on rules that may be discordant with clinical practice and, at times, the design of the DSM-IV. For this study, changes were made to the interview, including additional probes for the panic disorder module and modification of the decision rules used to assign or rule out diagnoses of panic disorder and social phobia. The changes resulted in greater inclusion of patients in the panic disorder and social phobia diagnostic categories and we argue that these changes to the CIDI-Auto increase the clinical validity of this instrument. We did not examine the false positive rate for the unmodified or modified CIDI, but this is an important issue that needs to be evaluated in future research.

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