Computer-aided interviewing of parents in a child psychiatric clinic

H.G. Morton, N. Alm

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The development of automated or semi-automated data from patients has increased because of the growing availability of computers to clinicians. Slack and his colleagues [1] demonstrated the value of this technique. The computer used could elicit medical histories which at times were fuller than those obtained during a clinical interview, and it was found that such computer interviews were well tolerated by patients. These findings have subsequently been confirmed in psychiatric practice [2-7]. The use of automated interviews in psychiatry has been reviewed by Mizutani [8], who draws attention to the potential saving of clinician's time if computer interviews are used for screening purposes, as originally noted by Coddington and King [3], and by Carr and Ghosh [6]. The widespread availability and increasing power of the microcomputer will encourage further exploration of this method. The clinical interview in child and adolescent psychiatric practice has been in a state of change. There is increasing use of family-centred interviewing techniques, which often have, as a central objective, the promotion of change at a relatively early stage in assessment. In comparison with orthodox techniques which depend on full assessment prior to the introduction of therapy, these techniques may make it more difficult at the outset to clearly and thoroughly establish which features of the child are causing concern, and their significance. A possible solution to this problem is to precede the initial interview with a data gathering phase which does not involve the clinician. This would be possible if a computer was used to elicit appropriate information before the initial interview with the family. If this method were acceptable to the family, it is possible that the more 'neutral' seeming aspect of an automated questionnaire would augment the clinician's first contact with them in a useful manner.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-280
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Microcomputer Applications
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


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