Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Reliability and procedural validity of UM-CIDI DSM-III-R phobic disorders

H.-U. Wittchena1 c1, S. Zhaoa1, J. M. Abelsona1, J. L. Abelsona1 and R. C. Kesslera1

a1 Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie Klinisches Institut, Munich, Germany; Institute for Social Research, Department of Sociology and Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA


We evaluate the long-term test–retest reliability and procedural validity of phobia diagnoses in the UM-CIDI, the version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, used in the US National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) and a number of other ongoing large-scale epidemiological surveys. Test–retest reliabilities of lifetime diagnoses of simple phobia, social phobia, and agoraphobia over a period between 16 and 34 months were K = 0·46, 0·47, and 0·63, respectively. Concordances with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) were K = 0·45, 0·62, and 0·63, respectively. Diagnostic discrepancies with the SCID were due to the UM-CIDI under-diagnosing. Post hoc analysis demonstrated that modification of UM-CIDI coding rules could dramatically improve cross-sectional procedural validity for both simple phobia (K = 0·57) and social phobia (K = 0·95). Based on these results, it seems likely that future modification of CIDI questions and coding rules could lead to substantial improvements in diagnostic validity.


c1 Address for correspondence: Professor Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Klinisches Institut, Kraeplinstrasse 10, D 80804 München, Germany.