Personality Disorder InterviewIV

The Personality Disorder Interview-IV (PDI-IV; Widiger, Mangine, Corbitt, Ellis, & Thomas, 1995) is a semi-structured interview for the assessment of the 10 standard personality disorders in the DSM-IV as well as the two proposed personality disorders (Passive-Aggressive and Depressive) presented in the DSM-IV appendix. The PDI-IV is appropriate for respondents ages 18 years and older and administration time is about 90 to 120 minutes.

A unique feature of the PDI-IV is that it is available in two separate versions, each with its own interview booklet. The PDI-IV Personality Disorders Interview Booklet arranges the diagnostic criteria and corresponding questions by personality disorder. The Thematic Content Areas Interview Booklet organizes the criteria and questions by thematic content. The nine topical areas are: attitudes toward self, attitudes toward others, security of comfort with others, friendships and relationships, conflicts and disagreements, work and leisure, social norms, mood, and appearance and perception. Notably, the questions for each diagnostic criterion are the same in each interview form, but the organization is different. The modular approach easily lends itself to focused and rapid assessment of particular personality disorders of interest to the researcher or clinician. A screening questionnaire is not provided for the PDI-IV.

In the PDI-IV administration book, questions for the assessment of each of the 94 individual personality disorder diagnostic criteria are presented. Direct instructions to interviewers, as well as prompts and suggestions for follow-up questions, are included in each booklet. Space is provided for recording responses to each question. Each criterion is cross-referenced to the DSM-IV. During administration, each criterion is rated on the following 3-point scale: "0" indicates not present, "1" indicates present at a clinically significant level, and "2" indicates present to a more severe or substantial degree. A particular strength of the PDI-IV is its comprehensive manual (Widiger et al., 1995) which extensively discusses the history and rationale for each diagnostic question as well as problems that often arise in the assessment of each criterion.

After the interview is completed, the clinician summarizes the responses to individual PDI-IV criteria and plots the overall dimensional profile in a booklet. According to the manual, this profile may help clinicians to rank multiple diagnoses by order of importance and to identify characteristics in the respondent that are relevant to psychopathology and treatment. Notably, the output provided is both a dimensional rating for each personality disorder as well as a categorical rating. Reliability and validity data, as summarized in the manual (Widiger et al., 1995), are solid.

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