Anxiety Assessment Tools: 4 Examples

Anxiety assessment tools are used to screen for and measure the severity of anxiety disorders in individuals.

These tools can help healthcare providers diagnose anxiety disorders and monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

Here are some commonly used anxiety assessment tools:

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) Scale

Description: The GAD-7 is a brief self-report questionnaire designed to identify probable cases of generalized anxiety disorder and assess its severity.

Instructions: Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by the following problems? (Use “✔” to indicate your answer)

SymptomNot at all (0)Several days (1)More than half the days (2)Nearly every day (3)
1. Feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge
2. Not being able to stop or control worrying
3. Worrying too much about different things
4. Trouble relaxing
5. Being so restless that it’s hard to sit still
6. Becoming easily annoyed or irritable
7. Feeling afraid as if something awful might happen

Scoring: Add the scores for each of the seven items to get a total score.

  • Total Score: ____ / 21

Interpretation:

  • 0-4: Minimal anxiety
  • 5-9: Mild anxiety
  • 10-14: Moderate anxiety
  • 15-21: Severe anxiety

2. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

Description: The BAI is a 21-item self-report inventory that measures the severity of anxiety symptoms.

Instructions: Please indicate how much you have been bothered by each symptom over the past week, including today.

SymptomNot at all (0)Mildly (1)Moderately (2)Severely (3)
Numbness or tingling
Feeling hot
Wobbliness in legs
Unable to relax
Fear of the worst happening
Dizzy or lightheaded
Heart pounding/racing
Unsteady
Terrified or afraid
Nervous
Feelings of choking
Hands trembling
Shaky/unsteady
Fear of losing control
Difficulty breathing
Fear of dying
Scared
Indigestion
Faint/lightheaded
Face flushed
Sweating (not due to heat)

Scoring: Add the scores for each of the 21 items to get a total score.

  • Total Score: ____ / 63

Interpretation:

  • 0-7: Minimal anxiety
  • 8-15: Mild anxiety
  • 16-25: Moderate anxiety
  • 26-63: Severe anxiety

3. Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A)

Description: The HAM-A is a clinician-administered scale that assesses the severity of anxiety symptoms.

Instructions: Rate the severity of each symptom over the past week.

SymptomNot present (0)Mild (1)Moderate (2)Severe (3)Very severe (4)
Anxious mood
Tension
Fears
Insomnia
Intellectual (cognitive) symptoms
Depressed mood
Somatic (muscular) symptoms
Somatic (sensory) symptoms
Cardiovascular symptoms
Respiratory symptoms
Gastrointestinal symptoms
Genitourinary symptoms
Autonomic symptoms
Behavior at interview

Scoring: Add the scores for each of the 14 items to get a total score.

  • Total Score: ____ / 56

Interpretation:

  • 0-17: Mild anxiety
  • 18-24: Moderate anxiety
  • 25-30: Severe anxiety

4. State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)

Description: The STAI consists of two subscales, measuring state anxiety (temporary condition) and trait anxiety (general tendency to be anxious).

Instructions: For each statement, circle the number that best describes how you feel right now (State Anxiety) and generally (Trait Anxiety).

State Anxiety Subscale (S-Anxiety):

StatementNot at all (1)Somewhat (2)Moderately so (3)Very much so (4)
I feel calm
I feel secure
I am tense
I am upset
I am relaxed
I am worried

Trait Anxiety Subscale (T-Anxiety):

StatementAlmost never (1)Sometimes (2)Often (3)Almost always (4)
I feel nervous and restless
I feel satisfied with myself
I wish I could be as happy as others seem to be
I feel like a failure
I am a steady person

Scoring: Sum the scores for each subscale.

  • State Anxiety Score: ____ / 80
  • Trait Anxiety Score: ____ / 80

Interpretation:

  • Higher scores indicate greater levels of anxiety.

Comments and Recommendations

  • Observation Summary:
  • Recommended Interventions:
    • Consider a referral to a mental health professional for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning.
    • Discuss possible treatment options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or medication.
    • Schedule follow-up appointments to monitor symptoms and treatment progress.

Note: These assessment tools are for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with qualified healthcare providers for accurate assessments and appropriate care plans.


These tools help in screening for and assessing the severity of anxiety disorders, guiding appropriate intervention and treatment.