Psychiatric interview

The psychiatric interview refers to the set of tools that a mental health worker (most times a psychiatrist or a psychologist but at times social workers or nurses) uses to complete a psychiatric assessment.

The goals of the psychiatric interview are:

The data collected through the psychiatric interview is mostly subjective, based on the patient's report, and many times can not be corroborated by objective measurements. As such, one the interview's goals is to collect data that is both valid and reliable.

Validity refers to how the data compares to an ideal absolute truth that the interviewer needs to access and uncover. Challenges that might affect the interview validity include can be categorized as patient related factors and interviewer related factors. Patient's related factors include:

Interviewer related factors include:

Reliability refers to how datasets collected by different interviewers or the same interview at different times compare with one another. Ideal reliability is when a dataset will be stable irrespective of changes in specifics of the data collection.

Different interview techniques have been shown to result in variations in the validity and reliability of the collected data. Open-ended question ("Tell me about your sleep.") have been shown to have better validity but less reliability than closed-ended questions("Do you have sleeping difficulties?")

See also

Psychiatric assessment

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