Screening for depression in patients with hepatitis C using the Beck Depression Inventory-II: Do somatic symptoms compromise validity?

Alexander L. Patterson, Benjamin J. Morasco, Bret E. Fuller, David W. Indest, Jennifer M. Loftis, Peter Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the validity of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) when used to measure depression in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Method: Factor analysis was utilized to validate the BDI-II in a sample of 671 patients with HCV recruited from a large Veterans Affairs medical center. The data were split randomly: the first half was subjected to exploratory factor analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis was used with the second half to confirm the model. Diagnostic data were retrieved from the electronic medical records. Results: Subjects were 97.0% male, average age was 52.8 years, 16.1% had a cirrhosis diagnosis, 62.9% had a current major depressive disorder diagnosis, and 42.3% endorsed significant depressive symptoms on the BDI-II. A two-factor model was an excellent fit for the data; the factors were labeled Cognitive-Affective and Somatic. Patients scored significantly higher on the Somatic factor than on the Cognitive-Affective factor (P<001), and this discrepancy increased when comparing patients based on whether they had a diagnosis of cirrhosis. Conclusions: When screening for depression in HCV patients, questions targeting cognitive and affective symptoms of depression may provide a more valid measurement of depression than questions targeting somatic symptoms of depression, particularly for patients with more advanced liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011



  • Beck Depression Inventory
  • Depression
  • Factor analysis
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Liver disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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