The Family Interview for Genetic Studies (FIGS) was developed by principal investigators in the NIMH Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Genetics Initiatives and NIMH extramural program staff as a guide for systematically collecting information about relatives in family/genetic studies of these disorders.  Unlike the DIGS, the FIGS does not elicit self-report data; rather subjects are asked to provide information about others.

(The following is taken from the 1992 "Manual for the FIGS" written by Elizabeth Maxwell Clinical Neurogenetics Branch, Intramural Research Program NIMH):


The Family Interview for Genetic Studies (FIGS) is a guide for gathering diagnostic information about relatives in the pedigrees being studied.  This diagnostic information becomes part of a pool of data on each individual relative to be added to data from the completed Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies (DIGS) and from medical records.

The FIGS becomes particularly important when reliance on direct information from a subject becomes impossible.  There are always relatives who are deceased or unavailable, and some who do not provide true or adequate information about themselves or who are too ill to be interviewed directly.

The Three Parts of the FIGS

There are three parts of the FIGS: The General Screening Questions, the Face Sheet, and the symptom checklists.

The most general information is gathered by using the General Screening questions about all known relatives in the pedigree, regardless of how distantly related.  The Face Sheet is for each of the informant's first degree relatives, and also for any affected relatives about whom the informant can provide information.  The various symptom checklists are used to ferret out the diagnostic details that help make possible a best estimate diagnosis.


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