Anxiety Instruments

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Anxiety Instruments

Measuring anxiety levels is a useful practice in the context of psychotherapy. It can be used to determine appropriate treatments, measure therapeutic progress and track post-therapy outcomes. Numerous instruments have been designed for this purpose, each with advantages and disadvantages. Selection of the appropriate psychometric device is crucial for desirable therapeutic outcomes.

  1. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

    • The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) consists of twenty-one statements designed to be completed in a self-report format. Respondents rate their level of agreement with each statement from 0 "not at all" to 3 "severely." Responses are then added together as a lump sum, which represents the respondents anxiety level at the time of assessment. Anxiety level categories include minimal (0-7), mild (8-15), moderate (16-25), and severe (26-63). The BAI is one of the most widely used measures of anxiety in clinical settings.

    Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A)

    • The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) consists of fourteen items which are scored on a 5 point Likert scale. It measures both physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety. The HAM-A is a clinician-rated scale, which means that it is filled out by the clinician rather than by the client. Because it is clinician-rated, the HAM-A does not need to assess for downplaying or exaggerating symptoms, making it a more time-efficient measure of anxiety. It is also not subject to a client's native language or reading level.

    Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)

    • The Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) is the most commonly used measure of anxiety in clinical settings. It is one of the only measures of anxiety which differentiates between anxiety due to temporary stressors and anxiety due to personality structures or other chronic issues. The instrument consists of forty total items, all of which are measured using a 4 point Likert scale. The STAI will take most adults approximately ten minutes to complete.

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