Screening for eating disorders in primary care: EDE-Q versus SCOFF

Jonathan M. Mond*, Tricia C. Myers, Ross D. Crosby, Phillipa J. Hay, Bryan Rodgers, John F. Morgan, J. Hubert Lacey, James E. Mitchell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    189 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective and Methods: The comparative validity of the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) (22 items) and SCOFF (five items) in screening for cases of the more commonly occurring eating disorders was examined in a primary care sample of young adult women (n=257). Diagnoses were confirmed in a sub-group of interviewed participants (n=147). Results: Twenty-five cases, primarily variants of bulimia nervosa (BN) not meeting formal diagnostic criteria, were identified in the interviewed sample. An EDE-Q global score of ≥2.80 yielded the optimal trade-off between sensitivity (Se) (0.80) and specificity (Sp) (0.80) (positive predictive value (PPV)=0.44), whereas a score of two or more positive responses on the SCOFF was optimal (Se=0.72, Sp=0.73, PPV=0.35). Validity coefficients for both measures varied as a function of participants' age and body weight, although these effects were more pronounced for the SCOFF. Conclusions: Both measures performed well in terms of their ability to detect cases and to exclude non-cases of the more commonly occurring eating disorders in a primary care setting. The EDE-Q performed somewhat better than the SCOFF and was more robust to effects on validity of age and weight. These findings need to be weighed against the advantage of the SCOFF in terms of its brevity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)612-622
    Number of pages11
    JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2008


    • Eating disorders
    • EDE-Q
    • Predictive validity
    • Primary care
    • SCOFF


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