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

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1993 May;87(5):364-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1993.tb03388.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires