Objectives: Limited research has been conducted into the identification of a valid and reliable screening measure for anxiety in aged care settings, despite it being one of the most common psychological conditions. This study aimed to determine an appropriate anxiety screening tool for aged care by comparing the reliability and validity of three commonly used measures and identifying specific cut-offs for the identification of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Method: One-hundred and eighty nursing home residents (M age = 85.39 years) completed the GAI, HADS-A, and RAID, along with a structured diagnostic interview. Results: Twenty participants (11.1%) met DSM-5 criteria for GAD. All measures had good psychometric properties, although reliability estimates for the HADS-A were sub-optimal. Privileging sensitivity, the GAI cut-off score of 9 gave sensitivity of 90.0% and specificity of 86.3%; HADS-A cut-off of 6 gave sensitivity of 90.0% and specificity of 80.6%; and RAID cut-off of 11 gave sensitivity of 85.0% and specificity of 72.5%. Conclusion: While all three measures had adequate reliability, validity, and cut-scores with high levels of sensitivity and specificity to detect anxiety within aged care, the GAI was the most consistently reliable and valid measure for screening for GAD.
- long-term care
- older adults