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Assessment of anxiety in older adults: a review of self-report measures

Authors Balsamo M, Cataldi F, Carlucci L, Fairfield B

Received 6 November 2017

Accepted for publication 5 March 2018

Published 6 April 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 573—593

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S114100

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Michela Balsamo, Fedele Cataldi, Leonardo Carlucci, Beth Fairfield

Department of Psychological, Health, and Territorial Sciences, Gabriele d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Abstract: With increasing numbers of older adults in the general population, anxiety will become a widespread problem in late life and one of the major causes of health care access contributing to high societal and individual costs. Unfortunately, the detection of anxiety disorders in late life is complicated by a series of factors that make it different from assessment in younger cohorts, such as differential symptom presentation, high comorbidity with medical and mental disorders, the aging process, and newly emergent changes in life circumstances. This review covers commonly and currently used self-report inventories for assessing anxiety in older adults. For each tool, psychometric data is investigated in depth. In particular, information about reliability, validity evidence based on data from clinical and nonclinical samples of older adults, and availability of age-appropriate norms are provided. Finally, guidance for clinical evaluation and future research are proposed in an effort to highlight the importance of clinical assessment in the promotion of clinically relevant therapeutic choices.
Keywords: anxiety, elderly, self-report, assessment, aging, psychometric properties

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