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The Beck Depression Inventory

what is the Beck Depression InventoryIntroduction

In addition to medication and different types of therapy, inventories can also be used to monitor depression in individuals. According to Wikipedia, an inventory “is a type of psychological test in which a person fills out a survey or questionnaire with or without the help of an investigator.” One type of inventory used to measure levels of depression is called the Beck Depression Inventory. This article will describe what the Beck Depression Inventory is, in addition to what types of questions are asked on the Beck Depression Inventory.

What Is The Beck Depression Inventory?

According to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), “The Beck Depression Inventory Second Edition (BDI-II) is a 21-item self-report instrument intended to assess the existence and severity of symptoms of depression.” The purpose of this inventory is to measure severe levels of depression, which would require hospitalization. A “total score of 0-13 is considered minimal range, 14-19 is mild, 20-28 is moderate, and 29-63 is severe.” Hence, this inventory measures a wide range of depression levels in patients.

What Types Of Questions Are Asked On The Beck Depression Inventory?

Questions on the Beck Depression Inventory measure a wide range of symptoms associated with depression. The following areas are measured on this inventory:

  1. whether or not a patient feels sad or hopeless
  2. a patients level of self-worth
  3. a patient’s level satisfaction from daily activities
  4. a patient’s level of guilt and whether or not patients feel they are being punished or feel disappointed in themselves.
  5. a patient’s perceptions of their weakness
  6. whether or not they are suicidal
  7. crying
  8. feeling irritable
  9. a patient’s interest in interacting with others
  10. a patient’s ability to make daily decisions
  11. a patient’s personal appearance
  12. occupation ability
  13. a patient’s sleep schedule
  14. hygiene
  15. appetite and weight loss and weight gain

Hence, a wide range of areas are measured on the Beck Depression Inventory, to be specific.


The Beck Depression Inventory, according to Pearson Clinical Assessment, was published in 1996 and does not take a long time to administer. In fact, it only takes about five minutes of a clinician’s time to administer. It can also be scored very quickly, as well. The administration of the age range for the Beck Depression Inventory also has a large age range.  In particular, this age range includes ages from thirteen years old to eighty years of age. It is definitely a valuable tool to include in your collection.

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The Beck Depression Inventory

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). The Beck Depression Inventory. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Apr 2016
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