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Beck Depression Inventory-II: Self-report or interview-based administrations show different results in older persons

  • Hana Stepankova Georgi (a1), Karolina Horakova Vlckova (a1), Jiri Lukavsky (a1), Miloslav Kopecek (a1) and Martin Bares (a1)...


Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) is one of the most-used rating scales. It was developed as a tool administered either as a self-rating or interview-based, observer-rating scale.


The goal of this study is to compare BDI-II scores obtained with two standard methods of administration in community-based older persons.


BDI-II was administered at first in the self-rated version to a sample of 60 mentally healthy older persons (age 60–87 years). Afterward, the interview-based administration was performed.


We compared the scores with nonparametric tests — Spearman’s correlation coefficient and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test. We also computed internal consistency.


Self-rated BDI-II yielded significantly higher total score than interview (p < 0.001, P = 88%). The correlation between total scores was moderate (rs = 0.46, p < 0.001). Item analysis revealed a larger decrease (lower scores) in the somatic items in the interview-based version.


The two methods of administration result in different total score in healthy older persons. Therefore, interpretation of the scores should reflect the administration, which should be always specified in the studies.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Hana Stepankova Georgi, National Institute of Mental Health, Topolova 748, 250 67 Klecany, Czech Republic; Phone: +420 283 088 240; Email:


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International Psychogeriatrics
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