Objective: To review the psychometric properties of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) as a self-report measure of depression in a variety of settings and populations.
Methods: Relevant studies of the BDI-II were retrieved through a search of electronic databases, a hand search, and contact with authors. Retained studies (k = 118) were allocated into three groups: non-clinical, psychiatric/institutionalized, and medical samples.
Results: The internal consistency was described as around 0.9 and the retest reliability ranged from 0.73 to 0.96. The correlation between BDI-II and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-I) was high and substantial overlap with measures of depression and anxiety was reported. The criterion-based validity showed good sensitivity and specificity for detecting depression in comparison to the adopted gold standard. However, the cutoff score to screen for depression varied according to the type of sample. Factor analysis showed a robust dimension of general depression composed by two constructs: cognitive-affective and somatic-vegetative.
Conclusions: The BDI-II is a relevant psychometric instrument, showing high reliability, capacity to discriminate between depressed and non-depressed subjects, and improved concurrent, content, and structural validity. Based on available psychometric evidence, the BDI-II can be viewed as a cost-effective questionnaire for measuring the severity of depression, with broad applicability for research and clinical practice worldwide.