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Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Beck Depression Inventory in Obese Individuals Seeking Surgery



The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is frequently employed as measure of depression in studies of obesity. The aim of the study was to assess the factorial structure of the BDI in obese patients prior to bariatric surgery.


Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted on the current published factor analyses of the BDI. Three published models were initially analysed with two additional modified models subsequently included. A sample of 285 patients presenting for Lap-Band® surgery was used.


The published bariatric model by Munoz et al. was not an adequate fit to the data. The general model by Shafer et al. was a good fit to the data but had substantial limitations. The weight loss item did not significantly load on any factor in either model. A modified Shafer model and a proposed model were tested, and both were found to be a good fit to the data with minimal differences between the two. A proposed model, in which two items, weight loss and appetite, were omitted, was suggested to be the better model with good reliability.


The previously published factor analysis in bariatric candidates by Munoz et al. was a poor fit to the data, and use of this factor structure should be seriously reconsidered within the obese population. The hypothesised model was the best fit to the data. The findings of the study suggest that the existing published models are not adequate for investigating depression in obese patients seeking surgery.

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Correspondence to Melissa J. Hayden.

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Hayden, M.J., Dixon, J.B., Dixon, M.E. et al. Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Beck Depression Inventory in Obese Individuals Seeking Surgery. OBES SURG 20, 432–439 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-009-9977-5

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  • BDI
  • Factor analysis
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • LAGB
  • Bariatric surgery