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Development and psychometric evaluation of the Benzodiazepine Craving Questionnaire

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To assess the scalability, reliability and validity of a newly constructed self-report questionnaire on craving for benzodiazepines (BZs), the Benzodiazepine Craving Questionnaire (BCQ). Setting and participants 

The BCQ was administered once to a sample of 113 long-term and 80 former long-term general practice BZ users participating in a large BZ reduction trial in general practice. Measurements 

(1) Unidimensionality of the BCQ was tested by means of the Rasch model. (2) The Rasch-homogeneous BCQ items were assessed for subject and item discriminability. (3) Discriminative and construct validity were assessed. Findings 

The BCQ met the requirements for Rasch homogeneity, i.e. BZ craving as assessed by the scale can be regarded as a unidimensional construct. Subject and item discriminability were good. Construct validity was modest. Highest significant associations were found with POMS depression (Kendall's tau-c = 0.15) and Dutch Shortened MMPI negativism (Kendall's tau-c = 0.14). Discriminative validity was satisfactory. Highest discriminative power was found for a subset of eight items (Mann–Whitney U Z = − 3.6, P = 0.000). The first signs of craving are represented by the acknowledgement of expectations of positive outcome, whereas high craving is characterized by direct intention to use. Conclusions 

The BCQ proved to be a reliable and psychometrically sound self-report instrument to assess BZ craving in a general practice sample of long-term BZ users.
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Keywords: Benzodiazepine; craving; dependence; questionnaire development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Centre St. Radboud, Nijmegen 2: Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, University of Nijmegen 3: Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Nijmegen 4: Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 5: Department of Mathematical Psychology, University of Nijmegen 6: and Department of Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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