Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


  • Nikola Stenzel
  • Stefan Krumm
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_29



Interviews are among the most valuable and most frequently used tools in clinical practice. They can be defined as dyadic face-to-face interactions between two people (interviewer and interviewee) that are conducted for specific purposes. Clinical interviews cover a wide range of purposes, for example, rapport building, problem exploration, or establishing a psychiatric diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

Typically, the interaction is asymmetric in the sense that the interviewer poses questions and the interviewee provides answers. Interview questions can be categorized according to their function and/or their form. Interview questions may have the following functions: introductory questions, gathering information, rapport building, transition from one topic of the interview to another, and reassuring that information was understood correctly. Depending on the specific purpose within an...

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References and Readings

  1. Barbour, K. A., & Davison, G. C. (2004). Clinical interviewing. In S. N. Haynes & E. M. Heiby (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychological assessment (Behavioral Assessment, Vol. 3, pp. 181–193). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. First, M. B., Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., & Williams, J. B. W. (1996). Structured clinical interview for DSM-IV axis I disorders, clinician version (SCID-CV). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
  3. Morrison, J. (2008). The first interview: A guide for clinicians. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  4. Robins, L. N., Cottler, L. B., Buchholz, K. K., Compton, W. M., North, C. S., & Rourke, K. M. (2000). Diagnostic interview schedule for the DSM-IV (DIS-IV). St Louis, MO: Washington University School of Medicine.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyPhilipps University of MarburgMarburgGermany
  2. 2.University of MuensterMuensterGermany