The Psychometric Properties of Instruments Used to Assess Anxiety in Older Adults

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Title: The Psychometric Properties of Instruments Used to Assess Anxiety in Older Adults
Authors: Therrien-Poirier, Zoé
Date: 2013
Abstract: With the growing number of older adults in the general population, there is also a concomitant rise in the number of older adults who require mental health services, making the measurement of psychological conditions in later life a priority. However, due to a lack of measures created for older adults, researchers and clinicians must often rely on measures created for younger populations. Three studies were designed to add to the field of evidence-based assessment and determine which anxiety measures possess strong evidence when used with older adults to warrant their use with this specific population. In the first study, I systematically reviewed the literature to identify the anxiety measures most commonly used with older adults. I reviewed each measure to examine its psychometric properties (e.g., internal consistency, test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, concurrent and discriminant validity) and the availability of age-appropriate norms in order to evaluate whether the instruments are appropriate for use with older adults. In the second study, I conducted a reliability generalization meta-analysis to estimate the mean reliability of each commonly used anxiety measure identified in the first study. Finally, in the third study, I examined whether the anxiety measures commonly used with an older population can be consistently and accurately categorized as evidence-based. The literature review and the reliability generalization study both revealed that most of the most commonly used measures lacked sufficient evidence to warrant their use with older adults. However, three measures (Beck Anxiety Inventory, Penn State Worry Questionnaire, and Geriatric Mental Status Examination) showed psychometric properties sufficient to justify the use of these instruments when assessing anxiety in older adults. In addition, two measures developed specifically for older adults (Worry Scale and Geriatric Anxiety Inventory) were also found to be appropriate for use with older adults. This suggests that based on their overall level of reliability and previous psychometric evidence, both researchers and clinicians assessing anxiety in a geriatric population should consider these measures as likely to be the best currently available.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23921
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6480
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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