Measuring anxiety in late life: a psychometric examination of the geriatric anxiety inventory and geriatric anxiety scale

J Anxiety Disord. 2014 Dec;28(8):804-11. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Sep 6.


We examined the psychometric properties, internal scale reliability and validity, of two geriatric anxiety measures: the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) and Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS). We also determined the extent to which memory ability influenced the psychometric properties of these measures. Older adult participants (N=110; M age=75 years) completed self-report, clinician-rated and diagnostic psychiatric measures and a neuropsychiatric battery. GAI and GAS scores had good internal consistency, adequate reliability, and strong convergent validity. GAI scores had better discriminant validity than GAS scores relative to a health rating. Both measures had strong associations with depression scores. Psychometric properties were decreased in participants with average delayed memory recall compared with those with superior recall. Both measures had good psychometric support, particularly in those with strong memory abilities. Psychometric performance characteristics indicate that the GAI and GAS may be good alternatives to anxiety measures not designed specifically for older adults.

Keywords: Aging; Measurement; Reliability; Validity; Worry.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report