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

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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 …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr R A Steer, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, 40 East Laurel, PCC 218, Stratford, NJ 08084-1350, USA. Fax +1 609 566 6030.

  • * Numbers calculated from data in article.