Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


This study investigated the utilization of standardized psychiatric interviews (SPI's) in psychiatric training programs. As the field of psychiatry, and the training of its' new members moves to conformits' principles to scientific models, the reliable use of SPI's is use ful in reaching that goal, in both research and diagnostic applications. This investigation contains two studies. In Study 1, a random survey of 20 percent of all psychiatric residency training programs was conducted to determine the prevailing level of training devoted to SPI's. The resulting findings are referred to as "training as usual" (TAU). Study 1 shows that residents are not sufficiently trained in the use of SPI's in so much as more than 85 percent of training programs offered no training in their administration. Study 2 tested residents' inter-judge reliabity upon administration of the Psychiatric Status Schedule (PSS) both before and after they received an intensive training intervention. The purpose of the training intervention was to increase the skills necessary for residents to improve the inter-judge reliability in administering the PSS. Results of Study 2 show a highly significant increase in the residents' inter-judge reliability from before to after training (p < .005). All seven residents in the study had total agreement on an average of 64 percent of the PSS items before training (that is, when they received the prevailing amount of training (TAU) as found in Study I) and on 90 per cent of the PSS items after the training intervention. This investigation was useful in showing that psychiatry can further its goal of conforming to scientific models by providing the type of training necessary to yield the high inter-judge reliability levels needed to achieve those goals.

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