Chapter 8. Clinical Assessment Instruments in Psychiatry

  1. Mario Maj3,
  2. Wolfgang Gaebel4,
  3. Juan José López-Ibor5 and
  4. Norman Sartorius6
  1. Charles B. Pull1,
  2. Jean-Marc Cloos1 and
  3. Marie-Claire Pull-Erpelding2

Published Online: 24 APR 2002

DOI: 10.1002/047084647X.ch8

Psychiatric Diagnosis and Classification

Psychiatric Diagnosis and Classification

How to Cite

Pull, C. B., Cloos, J.-M. and Pull-Erpelding, M.-C. (2002) Clinical Assessment Instruments in Psychiatry, in Psychiatric Diagnosis and Classification (eds M. Maj, W. Gaebel, J. J. López-Ibor and N. Sartorius), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/047084647X.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 3

    University of Naples, Italy

  2. 4

    University of Düsseldorf, Germany

  3. 5

    Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

  4. 6

    University of Geneva, Switzerland

Author Information

  1. 1

    Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, 4, rue Barblé, L-1210 Luxembourg

  2. 2

    Centre OMS Francophone de Formation et de Référence, 4, rue Barblé, L-1210 Luxembourg

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 APR 2002
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2002

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471496816

Online ISBN: 9780470846476



  • assessment;
  • checklists;
  • classification;
  • diagnosis;
  • interviews;
  • instruments;
  • questionnaires;
  • screening;
  • standardised;
  • semi-structured


Clinical assessment instruments are useful tools for accurate diagnosis and differential diagnosis of mental disorders. After an introduction on the criteria used in current psychiatric classifications, the authors outline the rationale underlying the development of these instruments and describe the major instruments that have been developed over the past 20 years. These are: 1) diagnostic checklists, 2) semi-structured interviews for Axis-I disorders, 3) semi-structured interviews for personality disorders, 4) fully structured interviews, 5) diagnostic screening questionnaires, and 6) interviews for the assessment of disablement. Special emphasis is given to their clinical and psychometric characteristics and tables illustrate sample items of these instruments. The authors conclude with a discussion on reliability and validity issues and present criteria to guide the clinician or researcher in the choice of the best instrument.