conclusions the pdsq is a diagnostic aid designed to be used in clinical practice to facilitate the efficiency of conducting initial diagnostic evaluations. our results indicate that most of the pdsq subscales were able to achieve this goal. in determining the length of the pdsq subscales, we tried to balance the desire to keep the scale brief so that it would be feasible to incorporate it into routine clinical practice with the desire to make the scale comprehensive so that most or all diagnostic criteria of the included disorders were assessed. the pdsq was intended to be administered and scored in the office before the initial diagnostic evaluation. across all subscales, the mean correlation between the pdsq subscales and their respective validity scale was 0.66, while the mean correlation between pdsq subscales and measures of other symptom domains was 0.25. finally, for each of the disorders assessed by the pdsq, the mean diagnosis-specific subscale score in patients with and without that dsm-iv diagnosis were compared.
at respective cutoff scores resulting in a sensitivity of 80%, subscale specificities ranged from a high of 91% for the bulimia and drug abuse/dependence subscales to a low of 58% for the somatization subscale. based on the cutoffs resulting in a sensitivity of 90%, the mean negative predictive value of the pdsq subscales was 97%, and the false positive rate was 34%. a possible limitation of the study was our failure to randomize the order of presentation of the pdsq and scid assessments; thus, we were unable to examine the influence of order effects. studies of an earlier version of the scale found that it was well received by primary care patients, and it possessed favorable psychometric properties.57,58 we developed the pdsq to aid clinicians in making psychiatric diagnoses. diagnostic (and outcomes) evaluations are an important component of case formulation and treatment planning, and professional organizations might want to take a more active role in monitoring instruments that are intended to influence the diagnostic process.
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