Ying Chen, Sichuan University
Haimin Li, Sichuan University
Yihan Li, Fudan University
Dong Xie, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
Zhiyang Wang, Fudan University affiliated Huashan Hospital
Fuzhong Wang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Yuan Shen, Shanghai Tongji University
Sulin Ni, Jiangsu University
Yan Wei, Jiangsu University
Yanhua Liu, Tianjin Anding Hospital
Lanfen Liu, Shandong Mental Health Center
Chengge Gao, Hospital of Medical College of Xian Jiaotong University
Jun Liu, Hospital of Zhengzhou University
Lijuan Yan, Mental Health Center Affiliated Harbin Medical University
Gang Wang, Capital Medical University
Keqing Li, Hebei Mental Health Center
Qiang He, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University
Tiehang Liu, Shenzhen Kangning Hospital
Jinbei Zhang, Sun Yat-sen University
Yan Ren, Shanxi Medical University
Qunli Du, Mental Hospital of Jiangxi Province
Jing Tian, Jinan University - China
Honghui Chen, Wuhan Mental Health Center
Yanfang Luo, Hospital of Heilongjiang Province
Fengzhi Zhang, Jilin Brain Hospital
Guangwei Sun, The First Hospital of China Medical University
Chunjie Shan, People's Hospital & Dalian Mental Health Center
Xueyi Wang, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University
Yutang Zhang, Lanzhou University
Xiaoqin Weng, Psychiatric Hospital of Henan Province
Yunchun Chen, The Fourth Military Medical University
Zhen Kang, People's Hospital of Liaocheng
Jing Guan, Guangzhou Brain Hospital/Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital
Yiping Chen, Clinical Trial Service Unit
Shenxun Shi, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Kenneth S. Kendler, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityFollow
Jonathan Flint, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
Hong Deng, Sichuan University

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November 2014



Diagnostic information for psychiatric research often depends on both clinical interviews and medical records. Although discrepancies between these two sources are well known, there have been few studies into the degree and origins of inconsistencies.

Principal findings

We compared data from structured interviews and medical records on 1,970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV major depression (MD). Correlations were high for age at onset of MD (0.93) and number of episodes (0.70), intermediate for family history (+0.62) and duration of longest episode (+0.43) and variable but generally more modest for individual depressive symptoms (mean kappa = 0.32). Four factors were identified for twelve symptoms from medical records and the same four factors emerged from analysis of structured interviews. Factor congruencies were high but the correlation of factors between interviews and records were modest (i.e. +0.2 to +0.4).


Structured interviews and medical records are highly concordant for age of onset, and the number and length of episodes, but agree more modestly for individual symptoms and symptom factors. The modesty of these correlations probably arises from multiple factors including i) inconsistency in the definition of the worst episode, ii) inaccuracies in self-report and iii) difficulties in coding medical records where symptoms were recorded solely for clinical purposes.


Copyright: © 2012 Chen et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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VCU Psychiatry Publications