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The performance of clinical self-report screens amongst a non-clinical population: Examining the use of a popular screen for eating disorders

Munro, Michael (2013) The performance of clinical self-report screens amongst a non-clinical population: Examining the use of a popular screen for eating disorders. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Research has shown that there are problems within the diagnostic procedure for eating disorders. The first stage of this process involves administering a short self-report survey called the SCOFF test (Morgan, Reid & Lacey, 1999). It is commonly used in the NHS alongside screens for depression and anxiety, namely the PHQ-9 (Kroenke & Spitzer, 2002) and the GAD-7 (Spitzer, Kroenke, Williams & Lowe, 2006). Because these screens are often given together, this research aimed to test the performance of all three of them amongst a non-clinical population. The tests were given both in paper format and made available online to students only, in order to speed up the data collection process. The results suggest that the screens may not be valid measures amongst this population group, as they found many more people scoring significantly than had actually been diagnosed with the relevant disorder. There may be other factors that cause members of this group to experience some of the signs and symptoms associated with these disorders. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research, as well as implications for future study.

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