Detection of eating disorders in patients: validity and reliability of the French version of the SCOFF questionnaire

Clin Nutr. 2011 Apr;30(2):178-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.09.007. Epub 2010 Oct 25.


Background & aims: Although eating disorders prevalence is increasing, they are often under diagnosed in cases of unspecific signs of malnutrition. Screening scales may allow earlier diagnosis and nutritional intervention. This study aimed to evaluate the validity of the French version (SCOFF-F) of the SCOFF questionnaire for the detection of eating disorders among a female patient population referred to a clinical nutrition unit.

Methods: After answering the 5 dichotomous questions of the paper version of SCOFF-F, patients were evaluated by one eating disorders specialist blinded to questionnaire results, using the MINI and Diagnosis and Statistical Manual for Mental diseases (DSM-IV) criteria as a gold standard.

Results: Patients with anorexia nervosa (n = 67) and with bulimia nervosa (n = 45) were assessed. Age-matched healthy female students (n = 114) served as control group. At a cut-off of two positive responses, the sensibility, specificity and the area under the curve of SCOFF-F were 94.6%, 94.7% and 97.9% respectively. Cohen's kappa coefficient between SCOFF-F and MINI results was 89%.

Conclusions: The results of this study confirm the reliability of SCOFF-F as a screening and diagnostic-facilitating test for eating disorders in a French-speaking female patient population. SCOFF-F should help professionals in clinical nutrition to achieve earlier diagnosis and care of eating disorder patients.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology
  • Bulimia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Bulimia Nervosa / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult