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Keywords:

  • eating disorder;
  • screening questionnaire

Abstract

Objective:

This article describes the three-stage development of the SCOFF, a screening tool for eating disorders.

Method:

Study 1 details questionnaire development and testing on cases and controls. Study 2 examines reliability of verbal versus written administration in a student population. Study 3 validates the test as a screening tool in primary care.

Results:

The SCOFF demonstrates good validity compared with DSM-IV diagnosis on clinical interview. In the primary care setting it had a sensitivity of 84.6% and a specificity of 89.6%, detecting all true cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and seven of nine cases of EDNOS. Reliability between written and verbal versions of the SCOFF was high, with a kappa statistic of 0.82.

Discussion:

The SCOFF, which has been adapted for use in diverse languages, appears highly effective as a screening instrument and has been widely adopted to raise the index of suspicion of an eating disorder. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010