The BDI was developed in 1961, adapted in 1969, and copyrighted in 1979. A second version of the inventory (BDI-II) was developed to reflect revisions in the Fourth Edition Text Revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, a handbook that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders).
Reliability—The ability of a test to yield consis- "5
tent, repeatable results. i
Validity—The ability of a test to measure accu- 3
rately what it claims to measure. =
The long form of the BDI is composed of 21 questions or items, each with four possible responses. Each response is assigned a score ranging from zero to three, indicating the severity of the symptom. A version designed for use by primary care providers (BDI-PC) is composed of seven self-reported items, each correlating to a symptom of major depressive disorder experienced over the preceding two weeks.
Individual questions of the BDI assess mood, pessimism, sense of failure, self-dissatisfaction, guilt, punishment, self-dislike, self-accusation, suicidal ideas, crying, irritability, social withdrawal, body image, work difficulties, insomnia, fatigue, appetite, weight loss, bodily preoccupation, and loss of libido. Items 1 to 13 assess symptoms that are psychological in nature, while items 14 to 21 assess more physical symptoms.
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