Comparison of the performance of the Beck Depression Inventory-II and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale in Arab adolescents.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Few instruments have been established as valid and reliable to screen for depression among Arab adolescents. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the performance of two of the most widely used depression screening instruments, the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D), with Arab adolescents. METHODS: A nationwide school survey was conducted in Jordan. A total of 3,292 adolescents (1,766 females; 54%) aged 13-17 years completed and returned the survey that included the BDI-II, CES-D, sociodemographics, and health information. Comparisons were made between the BDI-II and CES-D on internal consistency and the reported prevalence of depression in the whole population and subgroups. Multivariate ordinary least squares and logistic regressions were used to assess factors associated with adolescent depression. Agreement regarding recommended cutoffs was also examined using Cohen's k. RESULTS: Depression prevalence was significantly higher with the CES-D compared to the BDI-II among the same set of sample subgroups. Depression scores from both instruments showed different statistical associations with established risk factors for adolescent depression. The two instruments showed a moderate agreement (kappa = 0.55), indicating that the instruments do not completely identify the same cases. Different cutoff scores of the CES-D seemed to perform better for different age groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our results varied systematically as a function of the measure used to identify depression prevalence. Caution in the interpretation of associations of depression scores with risk factors is required, as associations may be measurement artifacts. However, given the limited availability of mental health care resources in Arab countries, screening instruments like the BDI-II and CES-D may be a critical first step in preliminarily identifying cases, albeit neither can replace the clinical interview. We cautiously recommend using the CES-D with the risk of over diagnosing, but with the benefit of finding issues which are not typically addressed when there is a lack of mental health services. With the growing social and political unrest in Arab countries, increasing depression rates over time is expected to be a major public health issue. Methodical consideration for how to invest in community-based screening is warranted.
Dardas, LA; Shoqirat, N; Xu, H; Al-Khayat, A; Bani Ata, S; Shawashreh, A; Simmons, LA
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