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Validation of the SCOFF Questionnaire

Validation of the SCOFF questionnaire for eating disorders in a multiethnic general population sample (2015)

F. Solmi, S. Hatch, M. Hotopf, J. Treasure and N. Micali



This study aimed to assess the validity of the SCOFF as a screening tool for ED in a multiethnic general population sample of adults in London (UK).

How was the study conducted?

A two-stage design was employed using the South East London Community Health Study phases I and II data. A total of 1,669 participants were screened using the SCOFF in SELCoHI, and 145 were administrated an ED clinical interview in SELCoHII. We explored the diagnostic validity of the questionnaire restricting to the 145 individuals with the clinical questionnaire.

What did we find?

Sensitivity and specificity of the SCOFF were 53.7 and 93.5%, respectively.


The SCOFF showed good levels of specificity but low sensitivity, resulting in a high percentage of false negatives. Given the low sensitivity found in our sample the SCOFF is likely to be a suboptimal measure for the identification of ED in the community.


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