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The diagnostic validity and reliability of an internet-based clinical assessment program for mental disorders

Nguyen, David Phong, Klein, Britt, Meyer, Denny, Austin, David William and Abbott, Jo-Anne M. 2015, The diagnostic validity and reliability of an internet-based clinical assessment program for mental disorders, Journal of medical internet research, vol. 17, no. 9 (2015), e218, pp. 1-14, doi: 10.2196/jmir.4195.

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Title The diagnostic validity and reliability of an internet-based clinical assessment program for mental disorders
Author(s) Nguyen, David Phong
Klein, Britt
Meyer, Denny
Austin, David WilliamORCID iD for Austin, David William orcid.org/0000-0002-1296-3555
Abbott, Jo-Anne M.
Journal name Journal of medical internet research
Volume number 17
Issue number 9 (2015)
Season e218
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher JMIR Publications
Place of publication Toronto, Ont.
Publication date 2015-09-09
ISSN 1438-8871
Keyword(s) internet
online
mental health
validity
reliability
assessment
diagnosis
screening
anxiety
depression
Summary BACKGROUND: Internet-based assessment has the potential to assist with the diagnosis of mental health disorders and overcome the barriers associated with traditional services (eg, cost, stigma, distance). Further to existing online screening programs available, there is an opportunity to deliver more comprehensive and accurate diagnostic tools to supplement the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders.

OBJECTIVE: The aim was to evaluate the diagnostic criterion validity and test-retest reliability of the electronic Psychological Assessment System (e-PASS), an online, self-report, multidisorder, clinical assessment and referral system.

METHODS: Participants were 616 adults residing in Australia, recruited online, and representing prospective e-PASS users. Following e-PASS completion, 158 participants underwent a telephone-administered structured clinical interview and 39 participants repeated the e-PASS within 25 days of initial completion.

RESULTS: With structured clinical interview results serving as the gold standard, diagnostic agreement with the e-PASS varied considerably from fair (eg, generalized anxiety disorder: κ=.37) to strong (eg, panic disorder: κ=.62). Although the e-PASS' sensitivity also varied (0.43-0.86) the specificity was generally high (0.68-1.00). The e-PASS sensitivity generally improved when reducing the e-PASS threshold to a subclinical result. Test-retest reliability ranged from moderate (eg, specific phobia: κ=.54) to substantial (eg, bulimia nervosa: κ=.87).

CONCLUSIONS: The e-PASS produces reliable diagnostic results and performs generally well in excluding mental disorders, although at the expense of sensitivity. For screening purposes, the e-PASS subclinical result generally appears better than a clinical result as a diagnostic indicator. Further development and evaluation is needed to support the use of online diagnostic assessment programs for mental disorders.
Language eng
DOI 10.2196/jmir.4195
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081496

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.