The British Journal of Psychiatry
The Melancholia Scale and the Newcastle Scales. Item-combinations and inter-observer reliability.
P Bech, A Gjerris, J Andersen, S B√∏jholm, P Kramp, T G Bolwig, M Kastrup, L Clemmesen, O J Rafaelsen

Abstract

The reliability of the total scores on three rating scales (Melancholia Scale and the two Newcastle Scales) and the algorithms leading to the Feighner, Research Diagnostic Criteria, and the DSM-III subtypes of depression have been compared. The degree of inter-observer agreements for the various item-combinations was significantly higher than would be expected by chance. The average agreement for each assessment system ranged from 80 to 93 per cent. This 7 to 20 per cent lack of total agreement probably reflects the limitation of clinical assessments including the influence of halo effects.