Probability of major depression diagnostic classification using semi-structured versus fully structured diagnostic interviews

Brooke Levis, Andrea Benedetti, Kira E. Riehm, Nazanin Saadat, Alexander W. Levis, Marleine Azar, Danielle B. Rice, Matthew J. Chiovitti, Tatiana A. Sanchez, Pim Cuijpers, Simon Gilbody, John P.A. Ioannidis, Lorie A. Kloda, Dean McMillan, Scott B. Patten, Ian Shrier, Russell J. Steele, Roy C. Ziegelstein, Dickens H. Akena, Bruce ArrollLiat Ayalon, Hamid R. Baradaran, Murray Baron, Anna Beraldi, Charles H. Bombardier, Peter Butterworth, Gregory Carter, Marcos H. Chagas, Juliana C.N. Chan, Rushina Cholera, Neerja Chowdhary, Kerrie Clover, Yeates Conwell, Janneke M. De Man-Van Ginkel, Jaime Delgadillo, Jesse R. Fann, Felix H. Fischer, Benjamin Fischler, Daniel Fung, Bizu Gelaye, Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Catherine G. Greeno, Brian J. Hall, John Hambridge, Patricia A. Harrison, Ulrich Hegerl, Leanne Hides, Stevan E. Hobfoll, Marie Hudson, Thomas Hyphantis, Masatoshi Inagaki, Khalida Ismail, Nathalie Jetté, Mohammad E. Khamseh, Kim M. Kiely, Femke Lamers, Shen Ing Liu, Manote Lotrakul, Sonia R. Loureiro, Bernd Löwe, Laura Marsh, Anthony McGuire, Sherina Mohd Sidik, Tiago N. Munhoz, Kumiko Muramatsu, Flávia L. Osório, Vikram Patel, Brian W. Pence, Philippe Persoons, Angelo Picardi, Alasdair G. Rooney, Iná S. Santos, Juwita Shaaban, Abbey Sidebottom, Adam Simning, Lesley Stafford, Sharon Sung, Pei Lin Lynnette Tan, Alyna Turner, Christina M. Van Der Feltz-Cornelis, Henk C. Van Weert, Paul A. Vöhringer, Jennifer White, Mary A. Whooley, Kirsty Winkley, Mitsuhiko Yamada, Yuying Zhang, Brett D. Thombs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification. Aims: To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics. Method: Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit. Results: A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15-3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98-10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7-15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56-1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26-0.97). Conclusions: The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

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Copyright © 2018 The Royal College of Psychiatrists.


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