Objective: To assess the psychometric properties and health correlates of the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) in a cohort of Australian community-residing older women.
Method: Cross-sectional study of a population-based cohort of women aged 60 years and over (N = 286).
Results: The GAI exhibited sound internal consistency and demonstrated good concurrent validity against the state half of the Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the neuroticism domain of the NEO five-factor inventory. GAI score was significantly associated with self-reported sleep difficulties and perceived memory impairment, but not with age or cognitive function. Women with current DSM-IV Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) had significantly higher GAI scores than women without such a history. In this cohort, the optimal cut-point to detect current GAD was 8/9. Although the GAI was designed to have few somatic items, women with a greater number of general medical problems or who rated their general health as worse had higher GAI scores.
Conclusion: The GAI is a new scale designed specifically to measure anxiety in older people. In this Australian cohort of older women, the instrument had sound psychometric properties.