Evaluating anxiety and depression in HIV-infected patients

J Pers Assess. 1998 Dec;71(3):349-67. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa7103_5.


Because there is a large overlap between HIV manifestations and somatic symptoms of anxiety and depression, it is crucial to use measures that do not contain somatic items to validly and reliably assess these psychological states in HIV-infected patients. The purpose of this study was to assess the psychometric properties of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), a questionnaire that does not include any somatic items, in HIV-seropositive individuals. Because the study was conducted among French Canadian individuals, the quality of the translation was 1st subjectively and empirically assessed. Then, the psychometric properties of the HADS were evaluated in 162 HIV-seropositive patients, who, in addition to the HADS, also completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The French Canadian version used was found to be subjectively and empirically equivalent to the original English version. Moreover, results of this study demonstrated a bifactorial structure with factors corresponding to the HADS subscales, an excellent internal consistency and test-retest reliability, a very good convergent validity, and an acceptable discriminant validity. Strikingly, in contrast to the BDI, HADS scores were found to be unconfounded by the presence of HIV symptomatology. The HADS appears to represent the best currently available self-report scale to reliably and validly assess anxiety and depression in HIV-infected patients. The HADS is simple and brief to administer (14 items) and may therefore be easily implemented in routine HIV care.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reproducibility of Results