Beck Depression Inventory

Aaron T. Beck, a pioneer in cognitive therapy, designed his first Depression Inventory often known as BDI in 1961. Beck originally developed BDI to detect, assess and monitor changes in depressive symptoms among people in a mental health care setting as well as in a primary care setting (Beck, Ward, Mendel son, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961). In 1996 Beck developed a second version of the inventory (BID-II) to reflect revisions in the Fourth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV-TR, a handbook use by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders (Beck, 1996).

Beck designed BID and the revision of BID-II as a 21 item standard personality multiple-choice questionnaire test that can be administered in ten minutes to groups or individuals within the population of 13 years old and above to evaluate their mental state and measure the severity of their depression (Beck , Steer, & Brown, 1996). BDI-II is a self –reported analysis of depressive symptoms, the wording of the BDI-II is clear and to the point.

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The instruction for administrating and scoring the BDI-II is clearly stated and easy to follow requiring minimal training on the behalf of the administrator.

However, scoring does require a clinical professional to analyze the severity of the depression (Beck, 1996). According to Beck (1996) 8 questions are related to emotional factors and the remaining 13 questions are pertinent to physiological factors. Beck states that “The emotional scale addresses symptoms like – self-hatred, guilt feelings, suicidal wishes, sense of despair, fear of failure, and hopelessness, while the physical scale deals with symptoms like – difficulty in concentrating, lack of energy, tendency to cry, sorrowfulness, loss of temper, and absence of appetite” (Beck, 1996).

The BID-II is scored by summing the highest rating for each of the 21 item. Each item is then rated on a 4- point scale, ranging from 0 to 3, and the total score range from 0 to 63. The score ranging from 0 to 13 represent “minimal” depression; total score ranging from 14 to 19 represent “mild” depression while total scores from 20-28 are “moderate” and total scores from 29-63 are “severe” (Beck, 1996). In 1996, Beck provided evidence that the BDI-II possesses adequate evidence of reliability.

By measuring two normative clinical population the first test sample population consisted of 500 men and women (n=500) taken from four different outpatient clinic throughout the eastern part of the U. S. The population included; 63% female, and 37% men, with an ethnic make -up of 91% White, 4% African American, and 4% Asian American, and 1% Hispanic. The comparative test was a convenience sample of 120 Canadian college students (n = 120). 6% of the sample were women; described as “predominantly White”. The average ages of the clinical and student samples were, respectively, 37. 2 (SD = 15. 91; range = 13-86) and 19. 58 (SD = 1. 84) (Beck, 1996). The outpatient clinical population yielded a coefficient alpha of . 92 (n=500) and the coefficient alpha for the college students (n=120) was. 93. According to Beck (1996) both exceeded the coefficient alphas original set for the BDI in 1961.

Test-retest reliability was studied using the responses of 26 outpatients who were tested at first and second therapy sessions one week apart. There was a correlation of . 93, which was significant at p < . 001 level (Beck, 1996). The major objective of the BDI-II is to have the test and result conform more accurately to the diagnostic criteria listed in the DSM-IV for depression. Items were added, removed and reworded to make the test more specified thus increasing the content validity of the measure.

With regard to construct validity, Beck (1996) tested the convergent validity of the BDI-II by administrating the test to college sample of 127 students which yielded a 93% true positive rate and 18% false positive rate (Beck, 1996) and then compared the correlated result with other psychological tests such as the “Scale for Suicide Ideation (r=. 37 n= 158), the Scale for Suicide Ideation (r = . 37, n = 158), Beck Hopelessness Scale (r =. 68, n =158), Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression (r=. 71, n = 87) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (r = . 47, n = 87). The BDI-II yielded a correlation of . 93 (p

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