Diagnostic Interview for Dsmiv Personality Disorders

The Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders (DIPD-IV; Zanarini, Frankenburg, Sickel, & Yong, 1996) is a semi-structured interview designed to assess the presence or absence of the 10 standard DSM-IV personality disorders as well as Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder and Depressive Personality Disorder in the DSM-IV appendix. Before personality assessment, a full screening for Axis I disorders is recommended. Additionally, an assessment of the respondent's general functioning (e.g., in the areas of work, school, and social life) is advised before administration of the DIPD-IV (Zanarini et al., 1996).

The interview is conducted on a disorder-by-disorder basis. The interview contains 108 sets of questions each designed to assess a specific DSM-IV personality disorder diagnostic criterion. The DSM-IV criterion is provided in bold below each set of questions for easy cross-reference. The initial question for each criterion typically has a yes-no format which is followed up by open-ended questions to more fully explore the experiences of the patients. Patients are informed that the interview pertains to the past 2 years of their life and that the interviewer wants to learn about the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have been typical for them during the 2-year period. Whereas patients are the sole source of information for rating most of the diagnostic criteria, behavior exhibited during the interview is valued and may override patient self-report if there are contradictions. Probing on the part of the administrator is encouraged if responses appear incomplete or untrue.

Each diagnostic criterion is rated on the following scale: "0" indicates absent or clinically insignificant, "1" indicates present but of uncertain clinical significance, "2" indicates present and clinically significant, and "NA" indicated not applicable. After all 108 criteria are rated, final categorical diagnosis for each personality disorder is made based on the number of criteria met. The final output is recorded as "2" indicting "yes" or met full criteria, "1" indicating "subthreshold" (one less than required number of criteria), or "0" indicating "no."

Information about administration and scoring of the DIPD-IV is relatively sparse, at least compared to the other Axis II interviews. The training requirements include at minimum a bachelor's degree, at least 1 year of clinical experience with personality-disordered patients, and several training interviews in which the person observes skilled administrators and then administers the interview. Administration time is typically about 90 minutes. Most notably, the DIPD-IV has been chosen as the primary diagnostic measure for personality disorders in the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study which is a large, multisite, prospective naturalistic longitudinal study of personality disorders and comorbid mental health problems.

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