A short self-report questionnaire was developed to assess dependence on benzodiazepines (BZDs), the Benzodiazepine Dependence Questionnaire (BDEPQ). The BDEPQ is the first scale to assess dependence on BZDs comprehensively, as all existing scales focus exclusively on withdrawal symptoms.
To evaluate its internal consistency and construct validity, 302 regular BZD users were recruited from media advertisements and assessed on a number of measures. The BDEPQ was compared with measures of depression, anxiety, sleep quality, BZD withdrawal symptoms and neuroticism to assess its construct validity. A 3–4 month follow-up was conducted to assess the ability of the BDEPQ to predict changes in BZD consumption and future BZD withdrawal.
The BDEPQ was found to have high internal consistency and to be relatively stable over the follow-up period. Three subscales were identified, each with good internal consistency and temporal stability. The BDEPQ was able to predict the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
The BDEPQ was found to be a reliable and valid self-report instrument for the assessment of BZD dependence in samples approximating the general population of people using BZDs.
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