Validity and Clinical Utility of Subtyping by the Beck Depression Inventory in Women Seeking Gastric Bypass Surgery

Valentina Ivezaj, Rachel D. Barnes, Carlos M. Grilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is commonly used in the screening and evaluation process with bariatric surgery candidates despite relatively limited psychometric evidence in this patient group. We examined the validity of the BDI and its clinical utility for subtyping women seeking gastric bypass surgery. Methods: One hundred twenty-four women evaluated for gastric bypass surgery were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I/P) and completed a self-report battery of psychosocial measures including the BDI. Results: Based on the SCID-I/P, 12.9 % (n = 16) met criteria for current mood disorder. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed the BDI had a good area under the curve (0.788) for predicting SCID-I/P mood disorder diagnosis; BDI score of >15 optimized both sensitivity and specificity. Patients diagnosed with SCID-I/P mood disorders had significantly higher levels of eating disorder psychopathology, self-esteem, and shame, than those without mood disorders. Based on a BDI cut-off score of >15, 41.9 % (n = 52) were categorized as high-BDI and 58.1 % (n = 72) as low-BDI. Patients characterized as high-BDI also had significantly higher levels of all associated measures than those with low-BDI; effect sizes for the differences by BDI subtyping were generally 2–3 times greater than those observed when comparing SCID-I/P-based mood versus no mood disorder subgroups. Conclusions: In women seeking gastric bypass surgery, the BDI demonstrated limited acceptability efficiency for identifying mood disorders with a cut-point score of >15. When identifying clinical severity, however, subtyping women by BDI scores of >15 may identify a significantly more disturbed subgroup than relying on a SCID-I/P-generated mood disorder diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2068-2073
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Assessment
  • Bariatric Surgery
  • Depression
  • Gastric bypass
  • Mood
  • Obesity


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