Reliability of interview information in a family study in the elderly

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the combined
test-retest and interrater reliability of different
psychiatric lifetime diagnoses yielded in the course of a
family study in elderly patients and controls. The following
interviews and questionnaires were used in combination: the
Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), the
Structured Interview for the Diagnosis of Dementia of the
Alzheimer Type, Multi-infarct Dementia and Dementias of Other
Aetiology (SI-DAM), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12)
and questionnaires for neurasthenia and recurrent brief
depression (RBD). Depressive and dementia disorders can be
diagnosed with good reliability in a family study setting with
the use of these instruments. The diagnoses of phobic
disorders, neurasthenia, RBD, subthreshold RBD and psychiatric
caseness as indicated by GHQ-12 scores were less reliable in
this setting and are therefore less suitable for use in family
studies.

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