Telephone versus in-person clinical and health status assessment interviews in patients with bipolar disorder. Academic Article uri icon


  • We evaluated the correspondence between in-person- and telephone interview-derived data on affective symptoms, health-related quality of life, disability days, and medication compliance in patients with bipolar disorder. Twenty-eight outpatients with DSM-III-R-documented bipolar disorder were randomly assigned to an initial in-person or telephone interview. An average of 4.0 days later, they were reassessed by the other interview method. Results indicate good to excellent agreement between telephone and in-person interviews on measures of mania (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.92) and depression symptoms (ICC = 0.90), suicide risk (kappa = 0.80), and alcohol use (kappa = 0.61), scores on the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (ICCs = 0.66-0.92), and medication compliance (ICCs = 0.50-0.66). Measures of bed disability days (ICC = 0.34) and restricted activity days (ICC = 0.66) showed less agreement. Telephone interviews are feasible and reliable for collecting data on psychiatric and other health-related outcomes in bipolar disorder patients.

publication date

  • August 1997