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Keywords:

  • binge eating assessments;
  • binge frequency;
  • binge eating disorder

Abstract

Objective

The current study assesses concordance between self-administered measures and a diagnostic standard for assessment of binge frequency and diagnosis of binge eating disorder (BED) in a sample of binge eaters.

Method

The Questionnaire for Eating and Weight Patterns-Revised (QEWP-R), Binge Eating Scale (BES), two items from the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire with Instructions (EDE-Q-I), and the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) were administered. Participants were 157 adults volunteering for a clinical study, of whom 129 (79%) were diagnosed with BED using the EDE as the diagnostic standard.

Results

In the identification of BED, the QEWP-R yielded a sensitivity value of .74 and a specificity value of .35. The BES yielded a sensitivity value of .85 and a specificity value of .20. Frequency of binge eating days and episodes on the EDE-Q-I correlated highly with the EDE (.65 and .48, respectively; p < .001).

Discussion

The accuracy of diagnosis and symptomatology among self-administered questionnaires is variable. The BES and the QEWP-R performed satisfactorily as initial screens for the diagnosis of BED, but were less accurate in identifying non-BED individuals and the frequency of binge eating. The EDE-Q-I most accurately assessed the frequency of binge eating. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 434–444, 2004.