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Keywords:

  • diagnosis;
  • epidemiology;
  • psychometrics

Abstract

Background  The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-IV) is a widely used structured psychiatric diagnostic instrument for children that is designed to be administered by non-clinicians. Although reliability data on several versions of the DISC are available, none have assessed the Xhosa version for use in the South African context. The objective of this study was to examine the test–retest reliability of the Xhosa version of the DISC-IV.

Methods  Test–retest reliabilities were documented for a sample of 105 parent/care giver and youth pairs. The research assistants worked in pairs, one interviewed the parent and the other interviewed the youth. The same researchers returned after approximately 2 weeks to conduct the second interviews.

Results  The DISC-IV was reliable across informants for many psychiatric disorders. Kappa coefficients ranged from 0.448 (any anxiety disorder) to 0.662 (major depressive disorder) for parent reports and from 0.145 (anxiety) to 0.661 (major depressive disorder) for child reports.

Conclusion  The results of this study suggest that the test–retest reliability of the Xhosa version of the DISC-IV is similar to the reliability reported in other translated versions of the instrument. The satisfactory reliability and straightforward application make this instrument suitable for use in South Africa.