Validity of the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) in screening for eating disorders in community samples

Behav Res Ther. 2004 May;42(5):551-67. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7967(03)00161-X.


In order to examine the concurrent and criterion validity of the questionnaire version of the Eating Disorders Examination (EDE-Q), self-report and interview formats were administered to a community sample of women aged 18-45 (n = 208). Correlations between EDE-Q and EDE subscales ranged from 0.68 for Eating Concern to 0.78 for Shape Concern. Scores on the EDE-Q were significantly higher than those of the EDE for all subscales, with the mean difference ranging from 0.25 for Restraint to 0.85 for Shape Concern. Frequency of both objective bulimic episodes (OBEs) and subjective bulimic episodes (SBEs) was significantly correlated between measures. Chance-corrected agreement between EDE-Q and EDE ratings of the presence of OBEs was fair, while that for SBEs was poor. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, based on a sample of 13 cases, indicated that a score of 2.3 on the global scale of the EDE-Q in conjunction with the occurrence of any OBEs and/or use of exercise as a means of weight control, yielded optimal validity coefficients (sensitivity = 0.83, specificity = 0.96, positive predictive value = 0.56). A stepwise discriminant function analysis yielded eight EDE-Q items which best distinguished cases from non-cases, including frequency of OBEs, use of exercise as a means of weight control, use of self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives and guilt about eating. The EDE-Q has good concurrent validity and acceptable criterion validity. The measure appears well-suited to use in prospective epidemiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*