SCID - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the SCID?
The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) is a semi-structured interview for making the major DSM-IV Axis I diagnoses. The SCID-II is a semi-structured interview for making DSM-IV Axis II: Personality Disorder diagnoses. In addition to the important distinction between the SCID-I and SCID-II, there are several different versions and editions of the SCID. It is important to understand these differences before making a purchase.
Where can I obtain the different SCID versions?
Below are two tables. One highlighting the SCID versions available through Biometrics Research at Columbia University. The other details the SCID versions available exclusively through external sources. To learn more about the SCID and the different versions and editions, scroll down below the following tables.
As a courtesy, Biometrics Research at Columbia University hosts the following SCID information and external web links that direct away from this web site. The SCID versions listed below are not available through Biometrics Research. Consequently, inquiries regarding the following SCID versions must be directed to the respective publishing contact source listed within.
(Despite the similarity in name, the SCID-D by Dr. Marlene Steinberg for the assessment of Dissociative Disorders, was developed without input from the original SCID authors and is not part of the SCID constellation for Axis I and II disorders.)
Can anyone use the SCID?
The instrument is designed to be administered by a clinician or trained mental health professional. Ideally, this will be someone who has had experience performing unstructured diagnostic evaluations. However, non-clinician research assistants who have extensive experience with the particular study population have been trained to use the SCID. Generally, the less clinical experience a potential interviewer has had, the more training required.
Do you need to have an MD or PhD to be qualified to administer the SCID?
No. The most important factors are clinical experience and a willingness to adhere to the SCID instructions detailed in the User’s Guide. The best qualification for being able to administer a SCID is the ability to conduct a diagnostic evaluation without using the SCID.
What kind of training is available?
The User's Guide which is included at no additional charge with the purchase of the SCID-I Research Version provides basic training in the use of the SCID. There is also an eleven-hour training series. The SCID-101 didactic training program consists of 8 DVDs, and includes examples of interviews with actual patients. This enhanced training option is recommended, but not required. In addition, there are supplementary DVDs of SCID-I and II Interviews available for long term rental. The SCID Interview Recordings do not replace the SCID User’s Guide or SCID-101 training series, which are the primary tools for learning the SCID. Rather they are intended to provide clinicians with SCID interview examples with patients presenting with various diagnoses. Most clinicians should prepare to spend AT LEAST 20 hours to learn how to administer the SCID. For detailed training information, click on Training or for order information, visit the SCID Order Web Page.
What is the difference between the Clinician and Research versions?
The SCID-I-RV, the standard research version is used in both research and clinical settings and is organized into diagnostic modules that include interview questions, diagnostic criteria and ratings all within a single interview booklet. The Clinician Version, SCID-CV, is an abridged version of the SCID-I-RV, adapted specifically to cover diagnoses most commonly seen in clinical settings; however, the SCID-CV may also be used in research settings. One significant difference is the SCID-CV is published in two parts--a reusable Administration Booklet (with color-coded tabs) and one-time-use-only score sheets. The SCID-CV is available through the American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. Click here for order information. The SCID-I-RV is available through Biometrics Research at Columbia University as an unmodifiable PDF or Microsoft Word document files compatible with Windows or Macintosh systems. Researchers doing studies funded by nonprofit organizations or educational institutions can modify the SCID-I-RV and make as many copies needed for their studies. When the SCID is used by researchers doing studies funded by for-profit organizations (i.e., pharmaceutical companies, HMO's), Biometrics Research requires a per-use fee. Click here for commercial license fees and information. Click the following link for specific details comparing and contrasting the Clinician and Research Versions.
What is the Clinical Trials version of the SCID?
The SCID-CT (Clinical Trials) is a version of the SCID developed in partnership with i3 Research specifically for use in clinical trials. This SCID version is not to be confused with the Clinician Version (SCID-CV) described above. Essentially the SCID-CT is a modified version of the SCID-I-RV (Research Version) that has been reformatted, streamlined and optimized for use in clinical trials for specific drug indications that incorporate typical inclusion and exclusion criteria. Versions of the SCID-CT have been developed for clinical trials for drugs with indications for Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. An additional "exclusionary" SCID-CT has also been developed. This is for situations where the SCID is used only to exclude individuals with disorders listed in the exclusion criteria for the study (e.g., for drug indications for disorders not included in the SCID like adult ADHD). Click here for additional information on the SCID-CT.
What are the different editions of the SCID-I-RV (Patient, Non-patient, Psychotic Screen)?
The SCID-I-RV/P (Patient Edition) is the standard Research Version SCID and is designed for use with subjects who are identified as psychiatric patients. For settings in which psychotic disorders are expected to be rare (e.g., an outpatient anxiety clinic) or for studies in which patients with psychotic disorders are being screened out, an abridged edition of the SCID-I-RV/P (SCID-I/P W/ PSYCHOTIC SCREEN) is available. This edition replaces the standard Psychotic Modules (i.e., Modules B and C) with a combined B/C module that includes only screening questions about psychotic symptoms. In addition, the SCID-I-RV/P (W/PSYCHOTIC SCREEN) has an abridged summary score sheet that does not include psychotic disorders. The SCID-I-RV/NP (Non-patient Edition) is for use in studies in which the subjects are not identified as psychiatric patients (e.g., community surveys, family studies, research in primary care). The diagnostic modules of the SCID-I-RV/NP are the same as those of the SCID-I-RV/P (W/PSYCHOTIC SCREEN); the only difference between the two editions is in the Overview section. In the SCID-I-RV/NP there is no assumption of a chief complaint, and other questions are used to inquire about a history of psychopathology. All three editions are included at no additional cost with purchase of the SCID-I-RV.
Are there reliability and validity data on the SCID?
Reliability and validity of the SCID for DSM-III-R and DSM-IV has been reported in several studies. With regard to reliability, the range in reliability is enormous, depending on the nature of the sample and research methodology (i.e., joint vs. test-retest, multi-site vs. single site with raters who have worked together, etc.). Click here for information regarding SCID-I reliability and click here for information regarding SCID-II reliability (including tables summarizing reliability results). Determining the validity is a more difficult question because of the lack of established gold standards for psychiatric diagnoses. In lieu of such a gold standard, "best estimate" diagnoses are often used as the clinical standard. Click here for information regarding SCID-I validity and click here for information regarding SCID-II validity.
What kinds of subjects can be diagnosed using the SCID?
In addition to assessment of current psychiatric patients, the SCID has been used to assess lifetime psychiatric diagnoses in medical patients, family members, community samples, college students, the homeless, the elderly, and in short, any English-speaking adult who is able to participate in the interview. Although the vast majority of studies have used the SCID on adults, some investigators have successfully administered the SCID to adolescents. Although it is often not possible to administer the SCID interview to subjects who have moderate or severe intellectual disability or who are otherwise too cognitively impaired to answer the questions, or to subjects are too medically or psychiatrically ill to participate in an interview, the SCID can still be used in those subjects as a tool for gathering and documenting diagnostic information obtained from other sources (e.g., informants, previous records) and then applying the DSM-IV diagnostic algorithms.
What about non-English speakers?
Many versions of the SCID (SCID-I-RV, SCID-CV, SCID-II) have been translated in their entirety (i.e., questions, diagnostic criteria, skip instructions) into a number of languages. Click here for more information on available language translations of the SCID. If you are interested in translating the SCID into a language or version not listed on the SCID Translations web page, click here.
How much time does it take to administer a SCID?
The administration time of the SCID-I-RV is quite variable and can range from about 15 minutes on the short end (i.e., a subject with virtually no psychopathology or psychiatric history) up to several hours (i.e., a subject with extensive psychiatric comorbidity with a circumstantial style of speech). The administration time of the full SCID-I-RV for a psychiatric patient likely averages around 90 minutes (whereas the administration time for a non-psychiatric patient is closer to one hour). Administration time depends on many factors including how many modules of the SCID are being administered, the complexity of the psychiatric history, and the subject’s ability to answer questions clearly and succinctly. The administration time for the SCID-II typically takes 30-60 minutes.
The Microsoft Word files that make up the SCID-I-RV (Research Version) are available for the purpose of assisting researchers in making modifications to the SCID in order to customize it for their particular study. Click here for more information. Multi-Health Systems Inc. of Toronto, Canada (1-800-456-3003; www.mhs.com ), distributes computerized versions of the SCID-CV (called the Computer-Assisted SCID-CV [CAS-CV] and the SCID-II (called the Computer-Assisted SCID-II [CAS-II]). Please be aware that the CAS-CV still requires that the SCID be administered to the patient by a clinician; therefore it is "computer-assisted" rather than "computer-administered." The CAS-II package does include a computer-administered version of the SCID-II Personality Questionnaire which does not require the participation of a clinician. The CAS-II refers to the patient’s answers to the Personality Questionnaire when determining whether personality disorder item can be skipped (i.e., those items answered "NO" on the questionnaire). There are two computerized versions of the SCID-I-RV currently under development. Click here for additional information. Also visit the Electronic SCID tab of this web site for additional information.
Are there any versions of the SCID available for disorders not covered in the SCID-RV?
A module for the SCID has been developed for the Impulse Control Disorders (i.e., Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Pyromania, Kleptomania, Pathological Gambling, and Trichotillomania) in collaboration with a number of the leading researchers in Impulse Control Disorders, including Jon Gant, Eric Hollander, Susan McElroy, Lorrin Koran, Andrea Allen, Marc Portenza, Dan Stein, and Larry Siever. It also includes sections for proposed disorders, such as internet addiction, skin picking, pathological shopping and compulsive sexual behavior. Although the instrument has not been formally field tested, it is being made available to interested researchers at no cost. Click here to download a PDF of this module.