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Fairness or Appropriateness of BDI-II

Beck depression inventory is a self-report questionnaire containing various items and is used to assess the symptoms of depression that may exist in an individual. The method assesses the feelings and emotions of an individual over the past two weeks to determine the presence of depressive symptoms (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1987). This may include sadness, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, loss of self-worth, among others. The technique has been reviewed by various authors to determine the fairness and appropriateness of the test. The authors have recommended possible modifications, alternative formats and languages and various accommodations that should be made to increase the effectiveness of the test.

The BDI-II has been modified to increase its effectiveness and it has been replaced by BDI-FASTSCREEN. The technique has been modified to reduce its weaknesses and improve on its effectiveness in the screening of depression among patients (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1987). According to the reviews of the BDI-II technique, there exists a major concern on the influence of response set and memory in the results of the method. Patients may have the ability of recalling the responses they provided to specific questions in BDI-II since it consists of just a few items. The effects of memory on the results of the method have not been assesses or addressed by authors (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1987). The lack of evaluation for the influence of memories on the results is a shortcoming of BDI-II in the identification and treatment of depressive disorder (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1987). Therefore, modifications have to be made to reduce the consequence of residual questions about response set and memory. The adjustments need to be made on the items to be tested reducing the effect of memory on the results.

Conclusively, BDI-II is an effective screening method for patients with depression. The method is fair and appropriate for use in the hospital environment since it has demonstrated reliability over a long-time. However, the effect of memory on the results has not been evaluated which calls for adjustments to increase its fairness and appropriateness.


Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1987). BDI-FastScreen for medical patients: manual. Psychological Corporation.



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