Background. We describe the development, reliability and applications of the Diagnostic Interview for Psychoses (DIP), a comprehensive interview schedule for psychotic disorders.
Method. The DIP is intended for use by interviewers with a clinical background and was designed to occupy the middle ground between fully structured, lay-administered schedules, and semi-structured, psychiatrist-administered interviews. It encompasses four main domains: (a) demographic data; (b) social functioning and disability; (c) a diagnostic module comprising symptoms, signs and past history ratings; and (d) patterns of service utilization and patient-perceived need for services. It generates diagnoses according to several sets of criteria using the OPCRIT computerized diagnostic algorithm and can be administered either on-screen or in a hard-copy format.
Results. The DIP proved easy to use and was well accepted in the field. For the diagnostic module, inter-rater reliability was assessed on 20 cases rated by 24 clinicians: good reliability was demonstrated for both ICD-10 and DSM-III-R diagnoses. Seven cases were interviewed 2–11 weeks apart to determine test–retest reliability, with pairwise agreement of 0·8–1·0 for most items. Diagnostic validity was assessed in 10 cases, interviewed with the DIP and using the SCAN as ‘gold standard’: in nine cases clinical diagnoses were in agreement.
Conclusions. The DIP is suitable for use in large-scale epidemiological studies of psychotic disorders, as well as in smaller studies where time is at a premium. While the diagnostic module stands on its own, the full DIP schedule, covering demography, social functioning and service utilization makes it a versatile multi-purpose tool.