Is the MiniScan a useful psychiatric intervention? A pilot study of the incremental validity of a computerised classification system
background Psychiatric classification based on clinical judgement is not very reliable. Reliability can be increased by the use of standardised interviews. Maximum standardisation of the classification process can both improve reliability and affect treatment.
aim To determine the effect that the use of a highly standardised and automated classification procedure (MiniScan) can have on the length of stay in hospital and on the course of symptoms.
methods Participants were allocated to a test group and a control group. The test group was classified via the MiniScan, the control group on the basis of clinical judgement. Length of hospital stay and symptom course were determined.
results The use of the MiniScan had no effect on the length of hospital stay, but seemed to play a role in symptom reduction.
conclusion There are indications that the use of the MiniScan contributes to symptom reduction.