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Past and Present State Examination: the assessment of ‘lifetime ever’ psychopathology

  • Peter McGuffin (a1), Randy Katz (a1) and Julie Aldrich (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 09 July 2009

A Past History Schedule (PHS) for use in conjunction with the Present State Examination (PSE) is described. The PHS/PSE interview enables a rating of ‘lifetime ever’ psychopathology to be performed. It provides good inter-rater reliability, as well as a satisfactory agreement between retrospective interviews and casenote-based assessment of past psychopathology. The PHS has been devised specifically for use in a family-genetic study of affective illness, but the general approach may be applicable to other categories of psychiatric disorder.

Corresponding author
1 Address for correspondence: Dr P. McGuffin, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF.
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G. Carey , I. I. Gottesman & E. Robins (1980). Prevalence rates for the neuroses: pitfalls in the evaluation of familiality. Psychological Medicine 10, 437443.

J. Cohen (1968). Weighted Kappa: nominal scale agreement with provision for scaled disagreement or partial credit. Psychological Bulletin 70, 213220.

J. K. Wing (1983). Use and misuse of the PSE. British Journal of Psychiatry 143, 111117.

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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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