The World Health Organization somatoform disorders schedule. A preliminary report on design and reliability

A. Janca, JD D. Burke, M. Isaac, KC C. Burke, JA A. Costa, E. Silva, SW W. Acuda, AC C. Altamura, CR R. Chandrashekar, CT T. Miranda, G. Tacchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The World Health Organization (WHO) Somatoform Disorders Schedule (SDS) is a highly standardized instrument for the assessment of somatoform disorders according to the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV). The SDS was produced in the framework of the WHO International Study of Somatoform Disorders and tested for its reliability in Brazil, India, Italy, the USA and Zimbabwe. A sample of 180 patients from general psychiatry, primary care and general medical settings were interviewed with the SDS within a three-day interval by nonclinician and clinician interviewers. The agreement between the two interviews was tested using the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and kappa statistic. The test-retest reliability of the SDS was found to be very good (the ICC for all the centres was 0.76; overall kappa value for SDS questions was 0.58; one-third of SDS questions had a kappa value of 0.60 or higher). The field test results of the SDS indicated that the instrument may be administered in larger studies by non-clinician interviewers without compromising the ability to document the prevalence of somatoform disorders in different cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • assessment
  • instrument
  • somatization
  • somatoform disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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