13. Symptom Scales and Diagnostic Schedules in Adult Psychiatry

  1. Ming T. Tsuang3,4,
  2. Mauricio Tohen5,6 and
  3. Peter B. Jones7
  1. Jane M. Murphy1,2

Published Online: 14 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470976739.ch13

Textbook of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Third Edition

Textbook of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Third Edition

How to Cite

Murphy, J. M. (2011) Symptom Scales and Diagnostic Schedules in Adult Psychiatry, in Textbook of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Third Edition (eds M. T. Tsuang, M. Tohen and P. B. Jones), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470976739.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Center for Behavioral Genomics, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla CA 92039, USA

  2. 4

    Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology & Genetics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

  3. 5

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio, USA

  4. 6

    Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7526 Louis Pasteur Drive, San Antonio TX 78229-3900, USA

  5. 7

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Box 189, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Room 215, 5 Longfellow Place, Boston MA 02114, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470694671

Online ISBN: 9780470976739

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Keywords:

  • scales;
  • schedules;
  • history of instrument development;
  • epidemiological studies;
  • patient investigations;
  • psychometric and clinical issues

Summary

This chapter presents the history of instrumentation for assessing psychiatric phenomena as experienced by adults. Two types of instruments are defined and discussed. One type is known as a ‘scale’. It focuses on dimensions of psychopathy especially in reference to ‘symptoms’. The other type is known as a ‘schedule’. It deals with psychiatric diagnoses especially in terms of ‘syndrome recognition’. Such instruments involve standard questions and uniform categories for responses. All of them are available in published form. Such methods for gathering psychiatric data have been used in epidemiological studies of general populations as well as for investigations of patients in psychiatric specialty settings or primary care. The instruments are grouped in terms of the locales where they were designed and produced (North America and the United Kingdom) or through their sponsorship by the World Health Organization. The history of these methods covers many of the major studies of psychiatric disorders carried out since the World War II. Brief overviews of such studies and some of their findings are given. The chapter ends with discussion of several unresolved issues. These concern, for example, reliability, validity, categorical versus dimensional measurement, focus on the current clinical state versus lifetime history of psychiatric disorders, and the changing view of depression as a chronic rather than an acute disorder.