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Br J Clin Psychol. 1984 May;23 ( Pt 2):93-9.

A meta-analytic comparison of the Beck Depression Inventory and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression as measures of treatment outcome.


Some clinicians have considered the Beck Depression Inventory, a self-rating scale, too reactive to patient halo effects and, therefore, a liberal measure of treatment outcome. On the other hand, interviewer-rating scales, like the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression have been viewed as more conservative measures of treatment gain. Studies which compared the Beck Depression Inventory to the Hamilton Rating Scale, as dependent measures, were reviewed for the purpose of determining if the scales provided comparable data for assessing treatment effects. The use of meta-analysis techniques resulted in a comparison of effect sizes which indicated that the Beck Depression Inventory was significantly less liberal than the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. The implications of these results for selecting outcome measures and the application of meta-analysis techniques for comparing dependent measures are discussed.

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