Concurrent validity of the Disordered Eating Questionnaire (DEQ) with the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) clinical interview in clinical and non clinical samples

  • C. Lombardo
  • M. Cuzzolaro
  • G. Vetrone
  • L. Mallia
  • C. Violani
Original Research Paper


OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the concurrent validity, specificity and sensitivity of the Disordered Eating Questionnaire (DEQ). The DEQ is a brief questionnaire (24 items), that can be used for epidemiological screenings. It addresses face valid questions to evaluate frequency and intensity of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors over a time frame of three months. DESIGN: The study was conducted using a cross-sectional design. METHODS: The DEQ was completed by 190 eating disordered patients (73 patients with Anorexia, 48 with Bulimia, 11 with Binge Eating Disorder, 48 with Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified, 10 recovered patients) and 88 healthy controls. RESULTS: In the whole group, DEQ scores were highly correlated with the scores of the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE 12.0D). Sensitivity and specificity were evaluated. In the female subsample, the ROC curves indicate that a cut-off score of 30 allows to obtain a sensitivity of 82% and a specificity of 68%. A formative approach of Structural Equationing Model confirm the construct validity of the instrument. CONCLUSIONS: The DEQ confirm to be a valid and reliable instrument, whose sensitivity and specificity is comparable to that of the EAT-40 even though it has fewer items.

Key words

Anorexia nervosa bulimia nervosa eating disorders Disordered Eating Questionnaire Eating Disorder Examination 


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Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Lombardo
    • 1
  • M. Cuzzolaro
    • 2
  • G. Vetrone
    • 3
  • L. Mallia
    • 1
  • C. Violani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Rome La SapienzaRomaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical PhysiopathologyUniversity of Rome La SapienzaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Philosophical ResearchUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly

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