How well can a few questionnaire items indicate anxiety and depression?

Authors

  • K. Tambs,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health, 2Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, University of Oslo
      Kristian Tambs, Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health, Geitmyrsvn. 75, N-0462 Oslo 4, Norway
    Search for more papers by this author
  • T. Moum

    1. Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health, 2Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, University of Oslo
    Search for more papers by this author

Kristian Tambs, Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health, Geitmyrsvn. 75, N-0462 Oslo 4, Norway

Abstract

There is a need for a short form questionnaire with known psychometric characteristics that may be used as an indicator of level of global mental distress. A weighted sum of 5 questions from the Symptom Check List (SCL) anxiety and depression subscales (SCL-25) correlates at r= 0.92 with the global SCL-25 score. The alpha reliability for the (5-item) short form questionnaire was 0.85. Age differences seemed to be trivial, and sex differences were moderate. Descriptive statistics for short form scores in a large, representative sample are given.

Ancillary