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Sensitivity And Specificity Of Depression Questionnaires In A College-Age Sample

G. Shean, Gretchen Baldwin
Published 2008 · Psychology, Medicine

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The authors evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; A. T. Beck, R. A. Steer, & G. K. Brown, 1996) and Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CESD; L. S. Radloff, 1977) questionnaires for a college-student sample. Results indicate that the BDI-II and CES-D evidenced satisfactory levels of specificity and positive predictive value for current, past-year, and lifetime depressive disorder ratings on the Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Researchers can use the questionnaires as valid initial screens in a two-stage process designed to identify individuals meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (American Psychiatic Association) criteria for depressive disorders. However, if the questionnaires are the only method used to select participants, the resulting sample may include a number of false positives.
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