Development and validation of software for Internet and PC SCID administration

Period of Performance: 05/26/2007 - 11/25/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Telesage, Inc.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The overall aim of this project is to develop and validate software for computer-assisted administration of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID) - Research Version. The SCID is consistently recognized as the gold standard instrument for generating accurate psychiatric diagnoses, but is cumbersome and expensive to administer. The proposed project will develop Internet-based software to automate the complex branching and diagnostic logic of the SCID, thereby increasing efficiency and ease of use. This software will offer new features that substantially improve upon previous attempts to develop a computer-assisted SCID. Phase I entails two tasks: development of a database-driven application to administer the SCID (Net SCID) and extensive testing of the software using data from previously administered paper SCIDs. Net SCID software will be developed in versions that allow for administration over the Internet, on a local area network (LAN), or on a standalone PC. Extensive software testing will be carried out to ensure that the Net SCID's branching and diagnostic logic is consistent with that of the original paper SCID. To test the software, double data entry procedures will be used to create an electronic database of item responses from 150 paper SCIDs collected in a previous NIMH-funded R01 study. Responses will be introduced into the Net SCID using an automated script to simulate live administration and demonstrate the equivalence of the branching and diagnostic logic between the two SCID forms. Software testing will be an iterative process; all test cases will be retested when corrections are made to the branching and diagnosis logic of the Net SCID. Our criterion for success in Phase I is 100% agreement with the paper SCID in question text, branching structure and diagnostic logic. In Phase II, we will implement and test Internet versions of variations of the SCID (including the Clinician Version) and develop new features to provide a complete, user- friendly interface, automatically generated diagnostic reports, and HIPAA-compliant databases of item responses and diagnoses for statistical analysis. We will also directly validate the Net SCID against the paper SCID in a clinical setting. The objective of the proposed project is to develop and validate a user-friendly, efficient software application for administering a computer-assisted Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID), using Internet technology (Net SCID). Mental health researchers and clinicians rely upon accurate psychiatric diagnoses, and the SCID has been shown to be more accurate and reliable than other methods for obtaining DSM diagnoses. The Net SCID will facilitate widespread adoption of this gold standard instrument by making the SCID easier to use and reducing the money and labor required to train interviewers, to copy, administer, and score the SCID, and to store and access results. These improvements will allow more researchers and clinicians to use the SCID regularly, increasing the accuracy of psychiatric diagnoses and, consequently, resulting in a higher quality of research and care for patients.