All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for August 2003

Validity of the Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen in multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 2003 Aug;9(4):393-6
Benedict RH, Fishman I, McClellan MM, Bakshi R, Weinstock-Guttman B.
Department of Neurology, State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York 14203, USA


The Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen (BDI-FS) is a brief self-report inventory designed to evaluate depression in patients with medical illness.

As depressive disorder is especially prominent in multiple sclerosis (MS), a cost-effective procedure for identifying depressive disorder in MS is sorely needed.

The BDI-FS may be useful in this regard although, to date, its validity in MS patients has not been assessed.


Fifty-four consecutive MS patients were studied.

All underwent psychological assessment, which included the BDI-FS and other self-report measures of depression.

Forty-eight caregiver/informants were interviewed using the Neuorpsychiatric Inventory (NPI).

Retrospective chart reviews were conducted by a single trained research assistant, blind to the results of psychological testing and interviews, to determine if antidepressant medications had been prescribed.


The BDI-FS was significantly correlated with other self-report measures of depression (P < 0.001) and with informant reported dysphoria (P < 0.01).

In addition, BDI-FS scores discriminated MS patients undergoing treatment for depressive disorder from untreated MS patients (P = 0.01).


These data support the concurrent and discriminative validity of the BDI-FS in MS.

As the test is brief and not confounded with neurological symptoms, it is recommended for depression screening in this population.