Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43MH061639-01A2
Agency Tracking Number: MH061639
Amount: $99,663.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (412) 257-4989
Business Contact
Phone: (412) 257-4989
Research Institution
The important task of training raters and establishing and maintaining reliability for the duration of a psychiatric clinical trial is a major problem that is often ignored. This problem is particularly vexing for trials involving many raters at multiple sites. Furthermore, factors effecting rater expectancy (bias) with standard psychiatric rating instruments has never been fully explored. This proposal will develop an interactive video system that can train research raters to use rating instruments with shared rating conventions and assess interrater reliability across sites and over time. Programs will be written that will enable this video system to be used as (I) an interactive "tutorial" system that can provide immediate feedback to trainees, and (2) a "reliability testing" system, that uses an integrated database to record ratings and compute interrater reliability within an identified group of raters or with preset ratings ("a gold standard"). Phase I will create a prototype for assessing interrater reliability for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Using scripts from actual patient interviews, a male and a female actor will each portray three separate HDRS interviews reflecting depressive symptoms of various severity. The functionality of the prototype system will be assessed. In preparation for Phase II, feasibility will be established by 1) having experienced raters assess videos of the HDRS interviews of both actors and actual patients to establish the validity of the actors' portrayals. 2) assessing interrater reliability in a group of experienced raters and a group of novice raters using the system, and 3) assessing the positive and negative attributes of the system with both experienced and novice raters. Phase II will develop a complete library of 30 variations of the I-IDRS using 6 different actors of diverse age, gender and ethnicity and implement the tutorial system. The Phase II study will assess variability and rater bias as an interaction of demographic and professional characteristics of the raters and "patients." Future product development will utilize the software and statistical methodology with other rating instruments, including those used to assess schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and dementia.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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