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Psychiatric Computer Interviews: How Precise, Reliable And Accepted Are They?

Wachiraporn Wachiraporn Arunothong, Pichai Ittasakul


Objective: Computer-assisted personal interviewing has been developed to help health care providers in gathering and processing information from the patients for diagnosis, treatment and intervention. Psychiatric service providers and patients, however, doubt this instrument in terms of the preciseness and reliability of the instruments because generally, psychiatric interviews rest on the interviewers' skills to create trust between patients and providers in order to go in-depth on sensitive issues. In this review, the existing literatures on the issue of reliability and precision of psychiatric computer interviews on patients' sensitive issues will be evaluated based on my work and experience in psychiatric care. Methods: Literature search on psychiatric computer interviews, which include patients and mental health professionals' attitude, which may include sensitive issue was conducted. Results: Patients prefer computer interviews rather than human interviews for revealing their sensitive issues while mental health professionals value human interviews and judgment more than computers. Computers have limitations in understanding human natural language, human interaction and non-verbal communication. Conclusion: It is recommended that the use of psychiatric computer interviews should be used under supervision of mental health professionals. ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 13 (1): January - June 2012: XX XX.