Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI)

A comprehensive tool designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assess for psychiatric disorders (as defined in ICD-10 and DSM-IV) and associated risk factors, consequences, and treatment interventions. The CIDI consists of a series of structured modules that screen for somatoform disorders, anxiety, depression, mania, schizophrenia, eating disorders, impairments in cognition, and substance use disorders. The CIDI is a highly complex tool that requires advanced knowledge, both in its administration procedures and its scope of clinical pathologies; however, with proper training, it can be administered by interviewers who are non-clinicians. The CIDI allows for great variability in its administration. The questionnaire begins with a series of screening questions about the child’s general health, before delving into disorderspecific questions. Depending on the scope and aims of an assessment, the CIDI can be administered in its entirety, or broken up and given in sections (i.e. the screening section and the depression module, etc.). However, it is important that the screening section always be included in any administration of the CIDI. The CIDI consists of a Short and a Long version. The Short version, averaging 45 minutes in administration time, helps to significantly reduce unnecessary financial and time costs compared with the Long version, which averages two hours in administration time. The Long version must be given to those who meet criteria for a mental disorder; it is up to the study organizer to determine whether or not to administer the Long version to those not meeting criteria for a mental disorder. The CIDI questionnaire and scoring algorithm are available in paper (PAPI) and computerized (CAPI) formats, and are updated regularly due to continual revisions in ICD and DSM criteria. Worldwide, CIDI training centers are available to provide expert training and technical assistance with the tool. Trainings last from 3-5 days and are available in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, and Spanish.

Related Publications

Elbert, T., Schauer, M., Schauer, E., Huschka, B., Hirth, M., & Neuner, F. (2009). Trauma-related impairment in children—a survey in Sri Lankan provinces affected by armed conflict. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33(4), 238-246.

World Mental Health Survey Initiative (Harvard):

What it measures

Mental Disorders


World Health Organization (WHO)


Children aged 16-17 years



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