The International Personality Disorder Examination (IPDE; Loranger, 1999) is an extensive-semi-structured diagnostic interview to evaluate personality disorders according to both the DSM-IV and International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition (ICD-10) classification systems. Impetus for the creation of the IPDE came from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration in their joint effort aimed at producing a standardized assessment instrument to measure personality disorders on a worldwide basis. As such, the IPDE is the only personality disorder interview based on worldwide field trials. The IPDE manual contains the interview questions to assess either the DSM-IV or the ICD-10 personality disorders. The two IPDE modules (DSM-IV and ICD-10) contain both a self-administered screening questionnaire and a semi-structured interview booklet with scoring materials.
The IPDE Interview Modules contain questions, each reflecting a personality disorder criteria, that are grouped into six thematic headings: work, self, interpersonal relationships, affects, reality testing, and impulse control (Loranger, 1999). Like the SIDP-IV, disorders are not covered on a one-by-one basis. As such, the intent of the evaluation is less transparent. Another similarity is that respondents are encouraged to report their typical or usual functioning rather than their personality functioning during times of acute psychiatric illness. Prior to the structured interview, a screening of Axis I conditions and the respondent's personal history is recommended.
The IPDE sections typically begin with open-ended prompts to encourage respondents to elaborate about themselves in a less structured fashion. In each module, specific questions are asked to evaluate each personality disorder criterion. For each question, the corresponding personality disorder and the specific diagnostic criterion are listed with precise scoring guidelines.
The IPDE requires that a trait be prominent during the past 5 years to be considered a part of the respondent's personality. When a respondent acknowledges a particular trait, interviewers follow up by asking for examples and anecdotes to clarify the trait or behavior, gauge the impact of the trait on the person's functioning, and substantiate the rating. Items may also be rated based on observation of the respondent's behavior during the session. To supplement self-report, interview of informants is also encouraged.
Each criterion is rated on a scale with the following definitions: "0" indicates that the behavior or trait is absent or within normal limits, "1" refers to accentuated degree of the trait, "2" signifies criterion level or pathological, and "?" indicates the respondent refuses or is unable to answer. Comprehensive item-by-item scoring guidelines are provided in the manual (Loranger,
1999). At the end of the interview, final impressions are recorded on a summary score sheet. Ratings are then collated by hand or computer. The ultimate output is extensive including: presence or absence of each criterion, number of criteria met for each disorder, a dimensional score (i.e., sum of individual scores for each criteria for each disorder), and a categorical diagnosis (i.e., definite, probable, or negative; Loranger, 1999).
The IPDE is intended to be administered by experienced clinicians, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, who have also received specific training in the use of the IPDE. Such training typically involves a workshop with demonstration videotapes, discussions, and practice. Average administration time is 90 minutes. Ample evidence of reliability and validity of the IPDE has been documented (Loranger et al., 1994; Loranger, 1999). Due to the instrument's ties to the DSM-IV and ICD-10 classification systems and adoption by the WHO, the IPDE is widely used for international and cross-cultural investigations of personality pathology.
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