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The Beck Anxiety Inventory in Older Adults With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Julie Loebach Wetherell
  • Margaret Gatz
Article

The authors investigated the psychometric properties of the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) in a sample of 75 older generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients and a comparison group of 32 older adults without significant psychopathology. Internal consistency was above .80, and the BAI showed evidence of convergent validity in both groups. Evidence for discriminant validity with respect to measures of depression was weaker. Two items, fearing the worst and nervousness, correctly distinguished 86.5% of patients with GAD and 93.8% of the normal controls. Medical comorbidity was associated with somatic but not cognitive anxiety symptoms in the normal older sample. Overall, results indicate the limitations of the BAI in assessing anxiety symptoms in older adults and suggest the need for use of an instrument focusing on cognitive aspects of anxiety.

KEY WORDS

aging assessment elderly generalized anxiety screening tests 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego
  2. 2.VA San Diego Healthcare SystemSan DiegoCalifornia
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles

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