Validation of the SCOFF questionnaire for screening of eating disorders among Mexican university students Article uri icon


  • Purpose: To evaluate the criterion validity and diagnostic utility of the SCOFF, a brief eating disorder (ED) screening instrument, in a Mexican sample. Methods: The study was conducted in two phases in 2012. Phase I involved the administration of self-report measures [the SCOFF and the Eating Disorder Inventory-2, (EDI-2)] to 1057 students aged 17–56 years (M age = 21.0, SD = 3.4; 67 %25 female) from three colleges at the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Mexico. In Phase II, a random subsample of these students (n = 104) participated in the eating disorder examination, a structured interview that yields ED diagnoses. Analyses were conducted to evaluate the SCOFF’s criterion validity by examining (a) correlations between scores on the SCOFF and the EDI-2 and (b) the SCOFF’s ability to differentiate diagnosed ED cases and non-cases. Results: EDI-2 subscales showed high correlations with the SCOFF scores proving initial evidence of criterion validity. A score of two points on the SCOFF optimized the sensitivity (78 %25) and specificity (84 %25). With this cutoff, the SCOFF correctly classified over half the cases (PPV = 58 %25) and screened out the majority of non-cases (NPV = 93 %25) providing further evidence of criterion validity. Analyses were repeated separately for men and women, yielding gender-specific information on the SCOFF’s performance. Conclusions: Taken as a whole, results indicated that the SCOFF can be a useful tool for identifying Mexican university students who are at risk of eating disorders. © 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

publication date

  • 2017-01-01