Background There is a need for psychiatric assessment instruments that enable reliable diagnoses in persons with hearing loss who have sign language as their primary language. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of the Norwegian Sign Language (NSL) version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
Methods The MINI was translated into NSL. Forty-one signing patients consecutively referred to two specialised psychiatric units were assessed with a diagnostic interview by clinical experts and with the MINI. Inter-rater reliability was assessed with Cohen’s kappa and “observed agreement”.
Results There was 65% agreement between MINI diagnoses and clinical expert diagnoses. Kappa values indicated fair to moderate agreement, and observed agreement was above 76% for all diagnoses. The MINI diagnosed more co-morbid conditions than did the clinical expert interview (mean diagnoses: 1.9 versus 1.2). Kappa values indicated moderate to substantial agreement, and “observed agreement” was above 88%.
Conclusion The NSL version performs similarly to other MINI versions and demonstrates adequate reliability and validity as a diagnostic instrument for assessing mental disorders in persons who have sign language as their primary and preferred language.