Methods of data collection in psychopathology: the role of semi-structured, phenomenological interviews

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  1. 1.

    In this context, “reliability” refers to different interviewers allocating the same diagnosis to the same patient.

  2. 2.

    The shift from a prototypical to a criteria-based definition of mental disorders was later adopted in The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders (WHO 1992).

  3. 3.

    “Information variance” refers to differences in what a patient discloses to an interviewer, whereas “criterion variance” refers to differences in interviewers’ assessment of whether the disclosed information fulfills certain diagnostic criteria or not (Jansson and Nordgaard 2016, 30).

  4. 4.

    SCID was not the first structured diagnostic interview in psychiatry (Spitzer 1983).

  5. 5.

    In this context, “validity” refers to the extent to which the diagnoses correspond to the “reality” of the diagnostic categories. For example, does the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder successfully “capture” persons with borderline personality disorder and discriminate them from individuals with other disorders?


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Henriksen, M.G., Englander, M. & Nordgaard, J. Methods of data collection in psychopathology: the role of semi-structured, phenomenological interviews. Phenom Cogn Sci (2021).

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