Background: The Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) is a recently developed scale aiming to evaluate symptoms of anxiety in later life. This 20-item scale uses dichotomous answers highlighting non-somatic anxiety complaints of elderly people. The present study aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Brazilian Portuguese version GAI (GAI-BR) in a sample from community and outpatient psychogeriatric clinic.
Methods: A mixed convenience sample of 72 subjects was recruited for answering the research protocol. The interview procedures were structured with questionnaires about sociodemographic data, clinical health status, anxiety, and depression previously validated instruments, Mini-Mental State Examination, Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and GAI-BR. Twenty-two percent of the sample were interviewed twice for test-retest reliability. For internal consistency analyses, the Cronbach's α test was applied. The Spearman correlation test was applied to evaluate the test-retest GAI-BR reliability. A ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curve study was made to estimate the GAI-BR area under curve, cut-off points, sensitivity, and specificity for the Generalized Anxiety Disorder diagnosis.
Results: The GAI-BR version showed high internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.91) and strong and significant test-retest reliability (ρ = 0.85, p < 0.001). It also showed moderate and significant correlation with the Beck Anxiety Inventory (ρ = 0.68, p < 0.001) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (ρ = 0.61, p < 0.001) showing evidence of concurrent validation. The cut-off point of 13 estimated by ROC curve analyses showed sensitivity of 83.3% and specificity of 84.6% to detect Generalized Anxiety Disorder (DSM-IV).
Conclusion: GAI-BR has demonstrated very good psychometric properties and can be a reliable instrument to measure anxiety in Brazilian elderly people.
Keywords: Brazil; Geriatric Anxiety Inventory; anxiety; elderly; validation.