J Nerv Ment Dis. 2023 Oct 20. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001721. Online ahead of print.
A Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) field trial in India, widely reported racist violence in the United States, and casteist and religious communal conflicts in India highlighted inattention to structural issues affecting mental health problems in the Outline for Cultural Formulation (OCF) and the CFI in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition). Consequently, we revised the OCF as a sociocultural formulation (SCF) to better consider structures of society and culture. We studied and compared clinicians’ ratings of SCF case formulations from a constructed assessment instrument (SCF Interview [SCFI]) and the CFI. Socio-cultural formulations from SCFI interviews were rated higher for details of societal structural impact, and overall interrater agreement was better. CFI interviews were rated higher for clinical rapport. Revision of the CFI should enhance consideration of structural issues and incorporate them in SCFs that better integrate assessment process and case formulation content. The need to acknowledge structural sources of mental health problems is clear, and our study indicates how a sociocultural framework may be used for that.