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Keywords:

  • Patient Health Questionnaire;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • binge eating disorder;
  • recurrent binge eating;
  • screening;
  • obesity

Abstract

Objective:

To examine the operating characteristics of the Patient Health Questionnaire eating disorder module (PHQ-ED) for identifying bulimia nervosa/binge eating disorder (BN/BED) or recurrent binge eating (RBE) in a community sample and to compare true positive (TP) versus false positive (FP) cases on clinical validators.

Method:

Two hundred and fifty-nine screen-positive individuals and a random sample of 89 screen negative cases completed a diagnostic interview. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) were calculated. TP and FP cases were compared using t-tests and Chi-square tests.

Results:

The PHQ-ED had high sensitivity (100%) and specificity (92%) for detecting BN/BED or RBE, but PPV was low (10 or 19%). TP and FP cases did not differ significantly on frequency of subjective bulimic episodes, objective overeating, restraint, on BMI, and on self-rated health.

Discussion:

The PHQ-ED is recommended for use in large populations only in conjunction with follow-up questions to rule out cases without objective bulimic episodes. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010