Reliability of cross-cultural psychiatric diagnosis with an assessment of two rating contexts

Joseph Westermeyer, Lloyd Sines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Studies on inter-rater reliability of psychiatric diagnosis have so far focused primarily on contexts in which clinician and patient belong to the same cultural group. In this study, four clinicians assigned diagnoses to a group of Asian peasants from Laos. Two different ratings contexts were employed: independent ratings using case reports, and concurrent ratings using all available data. Confidence of clinicians in their diagnoses were also assessed. The sample consisted of 35 subjects labeled by Lao peasants as baa ("crazy" or "insane"). Inter-rater reliability scores were comparable to those obtained by previous studies in which clinicians and patients were from the same, or similar cultures. Concurrent diagnoses showed greater agreement among raters than did inter-rater diagnoses separated by a 6 month interval. Diagnostic reliability was correlated with clinician confidence in diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-213
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement-Drs.J EROMEK ROLL (University of Minnesota Hospitals), VICENTET UA~~N(S t. Paul-Ramsey Hospital) and RONALD WINTROB( University of Connecticut)c ollaborated in the ratings. Dr. ROBERZTIM MERMANan d Mr. Tou Fu VANG serveda s consultantst o the study. This project was funded in part by the Minnesota Medical Foundation and the International Programs Office at the University of Minnesota.


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