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      The psychometric properties of Beck Depression Inventory for adolescent depression in a primary-care paediatric setting in India

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          There is increasing interest in identifying adolescents with depression in primary care settings by paediatricians in India. This article studied the diagnostic accuracy, reliability and validity of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) while used by paediatricians in a primary care setting in India.


          181 adolescents attending 3 schools were administered a back translated Tamil version of BDI by a paediatrician to evaluate its psychometric properties along with Children's Depression Rating Scale (CDRS-R) for convergent validity. Clinical diagnosis of depressive disorders, for reference standard, was based on ICD-10 interview by an independent psychiatrist who also administered the Impact of Event Scale (IES) for divergent validity. Appropriate analyses for validity and diagnostic accuracy both at the item and scale levels were conducted.


          A cut-off score of ≥ 5 (Sn = 90.9%, Sp = 17.6 %) for screening and cut-off score of ≥ 22 (Sn = 27.3%, Sp = 90%) for diagnostic utility is suggested. The 4 week test – retest reliability was good (r = 0.82). In addition to the adequate face and content validity, BDI has very good internal consistency (α = 0.96), high convergent validity with CDRS-R (r = 0.72; P = 0.001), and high discriminant validity with IES (r = 0.26; P = 0.23). There was a moderate concordance rate with the reference standard (54.5%) in identifying depression among the adolescents. Factor analysis replicated the 2-factor structure explaining 30.5 % of variance.


          The BDI proved to be a psychometrically sound measure for use by paediatricians in a primary care setting in India. The possibility of screening for depressive disorders through the use of BDI may be helpful in identifying probable cases of the disorder among adolescents.

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          Depressed adolescents grown up.

          Major depressive disorder (MDD) that arises in adolescence impairs functioning and is associated with suicide risk, but little is known about its continuity into adulthood. To describe the clinical course of adolescent-onset MDD into adulthood. Prospective case-control study. Seventy-three subjects had onset of MDD based on systematic clinical assessment during adolescence (Tanner stage III-V) and 37 controls had no evidence of past or current psychiatric disorders, and also were assessed in adolescence (assessment years: 1977-1985). Follow-up was conducted 10 to 15 years after the initial assessment by an independent team without knowledge of initial diagnosis (follow-up years: 1992-1996). Cases were identified at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, NY; controls were recruited from the community. Suicide and suicide attempts, psychiatric diagnoses, treatment utilization, and social functioning. Clinical outcomes of adolescent-onset MDD into adulthood compared with control subjects without psychiatric illness include a high rate of suicide (7.7%); a 5-fold increased risk for first suicide attempt; a 2-fold increased risk of MDD, but not other psychiatric disorders; an increased occurrence of psychiatric and medical hospitalization; and impaired functioning in work, social, and family life. Thirty-seven percent of those with adolescent MDD survived without an episode of MDD in adulthood vs 69% of the control participants (relative risk, 2.2 [95% confidence interval, 1.0-4.7; P<.05]). There is substantial continuity, specificity, morbidity, and potential mortality from suicide into adulthood in adolescent-onset MDD patients. Now that empirically based guides to their treatment are becoming available, early identification and treatment seems warranted.
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            On the validity of the Beck Depression Inventory. A review.

            The present review discusses validity aspects of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) on the basis of meta-analyses of studies on the psychometric properties. Shortcomings of the BDI are its high item difficulty, lack of representative norms, and thus doubtful objectivity of interpretation, controversial factorial validity, instability of scores over short time intervals (over the course of 1 day), and poor discriminant validity against anxiety. Advantages of the inventory are its high internal consistency, high content validity, validity in differentiating between depressed and nondepressed subjects, sensitivity to change, and international propagation. The present paper outlines agreements and contradictions between the various studies on the BDI and discusses the potential factors (composition of the subject sample, statistical procedures, point in time of measurement) accounting for the variance in their results. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is world-wide among the most used self-rating scales for measuring depression. Since the test construction in 1961, the test has been employed in numerous (more than 2,000) empirical studies. The present review will only consider those investigations which are primarily concerned with the validity or the psychometric properties of the BDI. Since most studies are oriented along the criteria of the classical test theory, our review will discuss to what extent the BDI meets these criteria.
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              Recognition, management, and outcomes of depression in primary care.

              To evaluate the recognition, management, and outcomes of depressed patients presenting in primary care. Epidemiologic survey with 12-month follow-up. Primary care clinics of a staff-model health maintenance organization. Consecutive primary care attenders aged 18 to 65 years (n = 1952) were screened using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), and a stratified random sample (n = 373) completed a psychiatric assessment, including the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), the 28-item GHQ, and a brief self-rated disability questionnaire (BDQ). Three-month follow-up assessment (n = 347) repeated the GHQ-28 and BDQ, and 12-month follow-up (n = 308) repeated the CIDI, GHQ-28, and BDQ. Use of psychotropic drugs and mental health services was assessed using computerized pharmacy and visit registration records. Structured interviews found 64 cases of current major depression (weighted prevalence, 6.6%) and 58 cases of current subthreshold depression (weighted prevalence, 8.8%). Of those with major depression, 64% (n = 41) were recognized as psychologically distressed by the primary care physician, 56% (n = 36) filled at least one antidepressant prescription during the next 3 months, and 39% (n = 25) made at least one specialty mental health visit. Compared with recognized cases, those with unrecognized major depression were less symptomatic at baseline (GHQ-28 score, 15.31 vs 11.07; P = .006) but showed a similar rate of improvement over 12 months (F test for difference in slopes, P = .93). While many depressed primary care patients may go unrecognized and untreated, this group appears to have milder and more self-limited depression. A narrow focus on increased recognition may not improve overall outcomes. Treatment resources might be best directed toward more intensive follow-up and relapse prevention among those now treated.

                Author and article information

                Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health
                Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                9 August 2007
                : 1
                : 8
                [1 ]Department of Child Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632 002, India
                [2 ]Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632 002, India
                Copyright © 2007 Basker et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry


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