Background: This study assessed the utility of the Binge Eating Scale (BES) as a measure of binge eating disorder (BED) in a bariatric surgery-seeking population by (a) determining the optimal BES cut score for predicting BED, (b) calculating concordance statistics, and (c) determining the predictive value of each BES item.
Methods: Four hundred seventy-three patients presented for a psychological evaluation prior to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. The BES and the SCID semi-structured interview for BED were administered.
Results: Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses identified an optimal BES cut score of 17, which correctly classified 78% of patients with BED. A cut score of 27 improved this statistic, but significantly increased the number of false negatives, which is undesirable for a screening assessment. Discriminant function analyses revealed that nearly all BES items significantly predicted BED.
Conclusions: The BES is a valid screener of BED for patients seeking bariatric surgery; however, false positives can be expected. Administering the BES as part of a comprehensive psychological evaluation can help improve the assessment and treatment of patients presenting for bariatric surgery.