Beck Depression Inventory

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was published by psychiatrist Aaron Beck in 1961, with the aim of better assessing depression severity and characterizing symptomatology. The author recognized the multidimensional nature of depression and need to quantify symptomatology for screening purposes. Questions center on the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and how the patient thinks and views the world and self. For example, question content reflects cognitive distortions, negative thoughts, low self-esteem, and suicidal ideation as well as somatic/affective components (e.g., sleep or appetite disturbances and fatigue).

The strength and popularity of Beck’s original inventory and subsequent revisions published in 1978 and 1996 in part reflects its ease of use, strong psychometric characteristics, and ecological validity. This entry discusses the characteristics of the original BDI and subsequent revisions, then ...

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