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A simple 5 item questionnaire accurately detected eating disorders in women in primary care

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 QUESTION: Does a simple 5 item questionnaire (SCOFF questionnaire) accurately detect eating disorders in primary care?


Blinded comparison of the SCOFF questionnaire and a clinical diagnostic interview based on DSM-IV criteria.


2 general practices in southwest London, UK.


341 sequential women (18–50 y) attending the primary care clinics.

Description of test and diagnostic standard

Women were verbally asked the 5 SCOFF questions*: Do you ever make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full? Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat? Have you recently lost more than one stone (approximately 6 kg) in a 3 month period? Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin? Would you say that food dominates your life? Each positive response (yes) is given …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr J F Morgan, St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK. jmorgan{at}

  • * Copyright of St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK, 1999.