Intended for healthcare professionals

Endgames Statistical Question

Screening tests: indices of performance

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 22 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3763

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Philip Sedgwick, senior lecturer in medical statistics
  1. 1Section of Medical and Healthcare Education, St George’s, University of London, Tooting, London, UK
  1. p.sedgwick{at}

The SCOFF questionnaire was assessed as a screening tool for eating disorders in primary care. The questionnaire consists of five questions that deal with core features of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Consecutive women attendees aged 18-50 years at two general practices were invited to participate and 341 agreed. All women completed the SCOFF questionnaire and also underwent a clinical diagnostic interview for eating disorders based on criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition).1

Women who responded yes to two or more of the five questions on the SCOFF questionnaire were identified as “positive” and at “high risk” of eating disorders; otherwise they were identified as “negative” and at “low risk” of eating disorders. The table shows the results of the SCOFF questionnaire in relation to the clinical diagnostic interview.

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Cross-tabulation of the results of the SCOFF questionnaire against the clinical diagnosis …

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