Objective Patients with eating disorder (ED) often remain unrecognized in many settings. Few studies have explored the use of eating measures in an adult male population. This study aimed to examine the comparative validity of the SCOFF questionnaire for detecting ED cases in men and women in the psychiatric outpatient setting. Method Psychiatric outpatients, including 605 men and 936 women, aged 18-45 years, completed the paper form SCOFF and were interviewed using the ED Module of the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV-TR. A subgroup of patients completed several additional self-reported questionnaires concerning eating and general psychopathology. Results Scores of 2 and 3 on the SCOFF were the optimal cutoff values for determining ED among men (sensitivity 86% and specificity 74%) and women (sensitivity 80% and specificity 86%), respectively. While age did not significantly affect the validity indices, the SCOFF as a screening tool for ED in obese men was underperformed. Conclusions The Mandarin Chinese version of the SCOFF is a potentially valid tool to detect ED in both genders in the psychiatric outpatient settings. By helping to detect hidden ED morbidity, the SCOFF can enhance diagnostic accuracy and facilitate comprehensive treatment among psychiatric outpatients.
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