The use of the Clinical Interview Schedule for the evaluation of mental health in the aged community

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Blay, Sergio Luis [UNIFESP]
Mari, Jair de Jesus [UNIFESP]
Ramos, Luiz Roberto [UNIFESP]
Ferraz, Marcos Pacheco de Toledo [UNIFESP]
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As a part of a survey to study the health and living conditions of the elderly population, a random sample of residents aged 65 and over are examined using the Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS) in order to evaluate their psychiatric status. The aim of this study is to evaluate this standard method of assessment as a case-identification instrument in our country. The schedule was completed by 91 subjects. It is easily administered, easily scored, and economical on time. Its completion rate is high. The weighted total scores (WTS) range from 0 to 48. Using the case criteria defined by Cooper & Schwarz (1982), 27 subjects (30 %) are considered cases and 64 (70 %) are regarded as non-cases. The sensitivity coefficients for the WTS are examined against the overall severity rating at different cut-off points. The optimum cut-off can be anywhere between 16 and 20 points. The WTS has higher validity coefficients to detect the following diagnostic categories (sensitivity, specificity): normals (100 %, -); personality (100 %, 92 %) and affective disorders (100 %, 75 %). In general the CIS items are given low ratings. Psychotic symptoms are rarely found in this sample. One main problem arose: the item depersonalization is misunderstood by some patients probably because of interpreting it as an upsetting memory disturbance.
Psychological Medicine. New York: Cambridge Univ Press, v. 21, n. 2, p. 525-530, 1991.