Evid Based Nurs 2:126 doi:10.1136/ebn.2.4.126
  • Diagnosis

The Beck Depression Inventory for Primary Care accurately screened for major depressive disorders

 Question Does the Beck Depression Inventory for Primary Care (BDI-PC) accurately screen for major depressive disorders in primary care patients?


Blinded comparison of the results of the BDI-PC with diagnosis based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) criteria obtained using the Mood Module from the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (MM from the PRIME-MD).


A university based outpatient clinical centre in Stratford, New Jersey, USA.


120 patients (mean age 58 y, 50% men, 86% white) who were scheduled for a consecutive routine outpatient visit with a physician specialising in internal medicine.

Description of test and diagnostic standard

Patients completed the BDI-PC in the waiting area before seeing the physician. The BDI-PC is a 7 item questionnaire with each item rated on a 4 point scale (0–3). It is scored by summing ratings for each item (range 0–21). Items are symptoms of sadness, pessimism, past failure, loss of pleasure, self dislike, self criticalness, and suicidal …

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