The need for culture sensitive diagnostic procedures

Tekleh Zandi, Johan M. Havenaar, Annechien G. Limburg-Okken, Hans van Es, Salah Sidali, Nadia Kadri, Wim van den Brink, Rene S. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective We examine the procedural validity of a standardized instrument for the diagnosis of psychotic disorders in Morocco. Method Twenty-nine patients from Casablanca, Morocco, with a psychotic or mood disorder were examined using the Comprehensive Assessment of Symptoms and History (CASH) an adapted version using cultural formulation to make the instrument more culturally sensitive (CASH-CS). Chance corrected agreement was calculated between diagnoses based on these two versions of CASH and independent clinical diagnoses according to local psychiatrists. Results Agreement for traditional CASH versus clinical diagnosis and for CASH versus CASH-CS was low (kappa = -0.19; SD 0.16 and kappa = 0.21; SD 0.16, respectively). De CASH-CS, showed good agreement with clinical diagnosis (kappa = 0.79; SD 0.11). Conclusion Standardized instruments for the assessment of psychosis such as the CASH may be liable to cultural misinterpretations. This may be relevant to the interpretation of the high incidence rates of schizophrenia among immigrants. Significant outcomes Agreement between a culturally naive version of a standardized diagnostic instrument for the assessment of psychosis and clinical diagnosis by Moroccan psychiatrists is poor. Adding additional probes and decision rules based on cultural formulation improves agreement with clinical diagnosis significantly. Limitations The study was conducted in a small sample. Both versions of CASH were administered by the same interviewer in a single interview session
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-250
JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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