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Comprehension of self-report evidence-based measures of anxiety

Comprehension of self-report evidence-based measures of anxiety

Depression and Anxiety 28(7): 607-614

Given their applicability in diverse settings and for a wide range of purposes, the generalizability of self-report symptom measures is particularly important. An understudied factor in the development and validation of self-report measures is the degree to which they are difficult to comprehend. This study evaluated the difficulty of self-report measures of anxiety with respect to several domains, including formatting, length, and linguistic problems. Ninety-two evidence based measures of anxiety were evaluated for comprehension level. The majority of anxiety measures included challenging elements of formatting, linguistic ability, and readability. Measures of obsessive-compulsive disorder were associated with the highest level of comprehension (i.e., greatest difficulty). The validity of self-report measures relies on the ability of respondents to understand the instructions and measure items. Factors related to the comprehension of self-report measures should be included among the basic psychometric properties in measure development and validation. Future research on the development of self-report measures that can be more broadly applicable across levels of education and literacy are of particular importance to research, clinical, and public health agendas.

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Accession: 052269548

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21618668

DOI: 10.1002/da.20827

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