The Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire cutoff scores: A study in eating-disordered and control subjects
Psychopathology. 2007-10-18; 41(1): 43-49
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<i>Background:</i> The evaluation of alexithymic deficits has become increasingly desirable in health and psychopathology research. The purpose of this study was to calculate alexithymia cutoff scores for a recently developed self-report alexithymia questionnaire: the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire Form B (BVAQ-B). <i>Sampling:</i> Three hundred subjects (47 eating-disordered patients and 253 healthy individuals) completed the BVAQ-B and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). <i>Methods:</i> The TAS-20 was used as a gold standard for this research, with its previously established cutoff scores serving as diagnostic criteria for determining the presence or absence of alexithymia. The BVAQ-B cutoff score selection was based on the examination of psychometric data (i.e., the sensitivity and specificity of the BVAQ-B scores and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses) and of clinical data (i.e., BVAQ-B mean score of the control subjects, who were mostly nonalexithymic, and BVAQ-B mean score of a group of patients with eating disorders, the majority of whom were alexithymic). <i>Results:</i> This research found that the most appropriate BVAQ-B cutoff scores for determining the absence and presence of alexithymia were 43 and 53, respectively. <i>Conclusion:</i> In light of these findings, we believe that the BVAQ-B may also lend itself to a categorical evaluation of alexithymia, with these cutoff scores determining its absence or presence.