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1.  The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS): detecting anxiety disorder and depression in employees absent from work because of mental health problems 
Occupational and Environmental Medicine  2003;60(Suppl 1):i77-i82.
Aims: To (1) evaluate the psychometric properties and (2) examine the ability to detect cases with anxiety disorder and depression in a population of employees absent from work because of mental health problems.
Methods: Internal consistency, construct validity, and criterion validity of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) were assessed. Furthermore, the ability to identify anxiety disorders or depression was evaluated by calculating posterior probabilities of these disorders following positive and negative test results for different cut off scores of the DASS-Depression and DASS-Anxiety subscales.
Results: Internal consistency of the DASS subscales was high, with Cronbach's alphas of 0.94, 0.88, and 0.93 for depression, anxiety, and stress respectively. Factor analysis revealed a three factor solution, which corresponded well with the three subscales of the DASS. Construct validity was further supported by moderately high correlations of the DASS with indices of convergent validity (0.65 and 0.75), and lower correlations of the DASS with indices of divergent validity (range -0.22 to 0.07). Support for criterion validity was provided by a statistically significant difference in DASS scores between two diagnostic groups. A cut off score of 5 for anxiety and 12 for depression is recommended. The DASS showed probabilities of anxiety and depression after a negative test result of 0.05 and 0.06 respectively. Probabilities of 0.29 for anxiety disorder and 0.33 for depression after a positive test result reflect relatively low specificity of the DASS.
Conclusion: The psychometric properties of the DASS are suitable for use in an occupational health care setting. The DASS can be helpful in ruling out anxiety disorder and depression in employees with mental health problems.
PMCID: PMC1765723  PMID: 12782751
2.  Rasch model analysis of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) 
BMC Psychiatry  2009;9:21.
There is a growing awareness of the need for easily administered, psychometrically sound screening tools to identify individuals with elevated levels of psychological distress. Although support has been found for the psychometric properties of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) using classical test theory approaches it has not been subjected to Rasch analysis. The aim of this study was to use Rasch analysis to assess the psychometric properties of the DASS-21 scales, using two different administration modes.
The DASS-21 was administered to 420 participants with half the sample responding to a web-based version and the other half completing a traditional pencil-and-paper version. Conformity of DASS-21 scales to a Rasch partial credit model was assessed using the RUMM2020 software.
To achieve adequate model fit it was necessary to remove one item from each of the DASS-21 subscales. The reduced scales showed adequate internal consistency reliability, unidimensionality and freedom from differential item functioning for sex, age and mode of administration. Analysis of all DASS-21 items combined did not support its use as a measure of general psychological distress. A scale combining the anxiety and stress items showed satisfactory fit to the Rasch model after removal of three items.
The results provide support for the measurement properties, internal consistency reliability, and unidimensionality of three slightly modified DASS-21 scales, across two different administration methods. The further use of Rasch analysis on the DASS-21 in larger and broader samples is recommended to confirm the findings of the current study.
PMCID: PMC2689214  PMID: 19426512
3.  Validation of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) 21 as a screening instrument for depression and anxiety in a rural community-based cohort of northern Vietnamese women 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:24.
Depression and anxiety are recognised increasingly as serious public health problems among women in low- and lower-middle income countries. The aim of this study was to validate the 21-item Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS21) for use in screening for these common mental disorders among rural women with young children in the North of Vietnam.
The DASS-21 was translated from English to Vietnamese, culturally verified, back-translated and administered to women who also completed, separately, a psychiatrist-administered Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV Axis 1 diagnoses of depressive and anxiety disorders. The sample was a community-based representative cohort of adult women with young children living in Ha Nam Province in northern Viet Nam. Cronbach’s alpha, Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFA) and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analyses were performed to identify the psychometric properties of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress subscales and the overall scale.
Complete data were available for 221 women. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) of each sub-scale and the overall scale were high, ranging from 0.70 for the Stress subscale to 0.88 for the overall scale, but EFA indicated that the 21 items all loaded on one factor. Scores on each of the three sub-scales, and the combinations of two or three of them were able to detect the common mental disorders of depression and anxiety in women with a sensitivity of 79.1% and a specificity of 77.0% at the optimal cut off of >33. However, they did not distinguish between those experiencing only depression or only anxiety.
The total score of the 21 items of the DASS21-Vietnamese validation appears to be comprehensible and sensitive to detecting common mental disorders in women with young children in primary health care in rural northern Vietnam and therefore might also be useful to screen for these conditions in other resource-constrained settings.
PMCID: PMC3566910  PMID: 23311374
Screening; Depression; Anxiety; Validation; Women; Vietnam
4.  The QOL-DASS Model to Estimate Overall Quality of Life and General Subjective Health 
Iranian Journal of Psychiatry  2011;6(1):43-46.
In Order to find how rating the WHOQOL-BREF and DASS scales are combined to produce an overall measure of quality of life and satisfaction with health rating, a QOL-DASS model was designed; and the strength of this hypothesized model was examined using the structural equation modeling.
Participants included a sample of 103 voluntary males who were divided into two groups of unhealthy (N=55) and healthy (N=48). To assess satisfaction and negative emotions of depression, anxiety and stress among the participants, they were asked to fill out the WHOQOL-BREF and The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-42).
Our findings on running the hypothesized model of QOL-DASS indicated that the proposed model of QOL-DASS fitted the data well for the both healthy and unhealthy groups.
Our findings with CFA to evaluate the hypothesized model of QOL-DASS indicated that the different satisfaction domain ratings and the negative emotions of depression, anxiety and stress as the observed variables can represent the underlying constructs of general health and quality of life on both healthy and unhealthy groups.
PMCID: PMC3395935  PMID: 22952520
Anxiety; Depression; Quality of Life; Statistical models; Stress
5.  Perceived Stress Scale: Reliability and Validity Study in Greece 
To translate the Perceived Stress Scale (versions PSS-4, −10 and −14) and to assess its psychometric properties in a sample of general Greek population.
941 individuals completed anonymously questionnaires comprising of PSS, the Depression Anxiety and Stress scale (DASS-21 version), and a list of stress-related symptoms. Psychometric properties of PSS were investigated by confirmatory factor analysis (construct validity), Cronbach’s alpha (reliability), and by investigating relations with the DASS-21 scores and the number of symptoms, across individuals’ characteristics. The two-factor structure of PSS-10 and PSS-14 was confirmed in our analysis. We found satisfactory Cronbach’s alpha values (0.82 for the full scale) for PSS-14 and PSS-10 and marginal satisfactory values for PSS-4 (0.69). PSS score exhibited high correlation coefficients with DASS-21 subscales scores, meaning stress (r = 0.64), depression (r = 0.61), and anxiety (r = 0.54). Women reported significantly more stress compared to men and divorced or widows compared to married or singled only. A strong significant (p < 0.001) positive correlation between the stress score and the number of self-reported symptoms was also noted.
The Greek versions of the PSS-14 and PSS-10 exhibited satisfactory psychometric properties and their use for research and health care practice is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3166743  PMID: 21909307
Perceived Stress Scale; translation; psychometric properties; validation; Greece
6.  A new instrument for measuring anticoagulation-related quality of life: development and preliminary validation 
Anticoagulation can reduce quality of life, and different models of anticoagulation management might have different impacts on satisfaction with this component of medical care. Yet, to our knowledge, there are no scales measuring quality of life and satisfaction with anticoagulation that can be generalized across different models of anticoagulation management. We describe the development and preliminary validation of such an instrument – the Duke Anticoagulation Satisfaction Scale (DASS).
The DASS is a 25-item scale addressing the (a) negative impacts of anticoagulation (limitations, hassles and burdens); and (b) positive impacts of anticoagulation (confidence, reassurance, satisfaction). Each item has 7 possible responses. The DASS was administered to 262 patients currently receiving oral anticoagulation. Scales measuring generic quality of life, satisfaction with medical care, and tendency to provide socially desirable responses were also administered. Statistical analysis included assessment of item variability, internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha), scale structure (factor analysis), and correlations between the DASS and demographic variables, clinical characteristics, and scores on the above scales. A follow-up study of 105 additional patients assessed test-retest reliability.
220 subjects answered all items. Ceiling and floor effects were modest, and 25 of the 27 proposed items grouped into 2 factors (positive impacts, negative impacts, this latter factor being potentially subdivided into limitations versus hassles and burdens). Each factor had a high degree of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha 0.78–0.91). The limitations and hassles factors consistently correlated with the SF-36 scales measuring generic quality of life, while the positive psychological impact scale correlated with age and time on anticoagulation. The intra-class correlation coefficient for test-retest reliability was 0.80.
The DASS has demonstrated reasonable psychometric properties to date. Further validation is ongoing. To the degree that dissatisfaction with anticoagulation leads to decreased adherence, poorer INR control, and poor clinical outcomes, the DASS has the potential to help identify reasons for dissatisfaction (and positive satisfaction), and thus help to develop interventions to break this cycle. As an instrument designed to be applicable across multiple models of anticoagulation management, the DASS could be crucial in the scientific comparison between those models of care.
PMCID: PMC420491  PMID: 15132746
7.  Effects of short duration stress management training on self-perceived depression, anxiety and stress in male automotive assembly workers: a quasi-experimental study 
To examine the effects of short duration stress management training (SMT) on self-perceived depression, anxiety and stress in male automotive assembly workers, 118 male automotive workers from Pekan, Pahang (n = 60, mean age = 40.0 years, SD = 6.67) and Kota Bharu, Kelantan (n = 58, mean age = 38.1 years, SD = 5.86) were assigned to experimental and control group, respectively. A SMT program consisting of aerobic exercise, stress management manual, video session, lecture, question and answer session, and pamphlet and poster session were conducted in the experimental group. A validated short-form Malay version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) were self-administered before and after the intervention program in the experimental and control group and their time and group interaction effects were examined using the repeated measure ANOVA test. Results indicated that the mean (SD) scores for DASS-Depression (p = 0.036) and DASS-Anxiety (p = 0.011) were significantly decreased, respectively, after the intervention program in the experimental group as compared to the control group (significant time-group interaction effects). No similar effect was observed for the mean (SD) scores for DASS-Stress (p = 0.104). However, the mean (SD) scores for subscales of DASS-Depression (Dysphoria, p = 0.01), DASS-Anxiety (Subjective Anxiety, p = 0.007, Situational Anxiety, p = 0.048), and DASS-Stress (Nervous Arousal, p = 0.018, Easily Upset, p = 0.047) showed significant time and group interaction effects. These findings suggest that short duration SMT is effective in reducing some aspects of self-perceived depression, anxiety and stress in male automotive workers.
PMCID: PMC2600780  PMID: 19021918
8.  The Survivor Unmet Needs Survey (SUNS) for haematological cancer survivors: a cross-sectional study assessing the relevance and psychometric properties 
Relevant and psychometrically sound needs assessment tools are necessary for accurate assessment of haematological cancer survivors unmet needs. No previous study has developed nor psychometrically evaluated a comprehensive needs assessment tool for use with population-based samples of haematological cancer survivors. This study aimed to assess the validity and reliability of the Survivor Unmet Needs Survey (SUNS) with haematological cancer survivors.
The relevance, content and face validity of the SUNS to haematological cancer survivors was assessed using qualitative interviews. Psychometric evaluation was conducted using data collected from haematological cancer survivors, aged 18–80 years at recruitment and recruited from four Australian cancer registries. Construct, convergent and discriminant validity; internal reliability and floor and ceiling effects were assessed. A second survey was completed by a sub-sample of survivors recruited from two of the four registries to assess test-retest reliability.
Results from 17 qualitative interviews confirmed the relevance, face and content validity of the original items of the SUNS for use with haematological cancer survivors. Overall, 1,957 eligible haematological cancer survivors were contacted by the cancer registries. Of these 1,280 were sent a survey, and 715 returned a survey (37% of eligible survivors contacted and 56% of survivors sent a survey). A total of 529 survivors completed all 89 items of the SUNS and were included in the exploratory factor analysis. Exploratory factor analysis supported the original five-factor structure of the SUNS. Evidence for convergent validity was established, with all five domains of the SUNS illustrating a moderate positive correlation with all three subscales of the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). All Cronbach’s alpha values were above 0.9 and all corrected item-total correlations were acceptable (>0.2). Criteria for discriminant validity was not met, with only 10 of the 15 (67%) a-priori hypotheses supported. Test-retest reliability was acceptable for 40 of the 89 items (45%) and for three of the five domains. Significant floor effects were evident for all five domains.
The SUNS demonstrates evidence for multiple features of validity and reliability as a measure of unmet needs for haematological cancer survivors. However, evidence supporting some psychometric properties was limited.
PMCID: PMC4026596  PMID: 24886475
Haematological cancer survivors; Psychometric evaluation; Needs assessment; Psycho-oncology; Unmet needs
9.  Working conditions, self-perceived stress, anxiety, depression and quality of life: A structural equation modelling approach 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:48.
The relationships between working conditions [job demand, job control and social support]; stress, anxiety, and depression; and perceived quality of life factors [physical health, psychological wellbeing, social relationships and environmental conditions] were assessed using a sample of 698 male automotive assembly workers in Malaysia.
The validated Malay version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Brief (WHOQOL-BREF) were used. A structural equation modelling (SEM) analysis was applied to test the structural relationships of the model using AMOS version 6.0, with the maximum likelihood ratio as the method of estimation.
The results of the SEM supported the hypothesized structural model (χ2 = 22.801, df = 19, p = 0.246). The final model shows that social support (JCQ) was directly related to all 4 factors of the WHOQOL-BREF and inversely related to depression and stress (DASS). Job demand (JCQ) was directly related to stress (DASS) and inversely related to the environmental conditions (WHOQOL-BREF). Job control (JCQ) was directly related to social relationships (WHOQOL-BREF). Stress (DASS) was directly related to anxiety and depression (DASS) and inversely related to physical health, environment conditions and social relationships (WHOQOL-BREF). Anxiety (DASS) was directly related to depression (DASS) and inversely related to physical health (WHOQOL-BREF). Depression (DASS) was inversely related to the psychological wellbeing (WHOQOL-BREF). Finally, stress, anxiety and depression (DASS) mediate the relationships between job demand and social support (JCQ) to the 4 factors of WHOQOL-BREF.
These findings suggest that higher social support increases the self-reported quality of life of these workers. Higher job control increases the social relationships, whilst higher job demand increases the self-perceived stress and decreases the self-perceived quality of life related to environmental factors. The mediating role of depression, anxiety and stress on the relationship between working conditions and perceived quality of life in automotive workers should be taken into account in managing stress amongst these workers.
PMCID: PMC2267182  PMID: 18254966
10.  Depression and anxiety in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: prevalence rates based on a comparison of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) and the hospital, Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) 
BMC Psychiatry  2012;12:6.
While it is recognised that depression is prevalent in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), recent studies have also highlighted significant levels of anxiety in RA patients. This study compared two commonly used scales, the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), in relation to their measurement range and cut points to consider the relative prevalence of both constructs, and if prevalence rates may be due to scale-specific case definition.
Patients meeting the criteria for RA were recruited in Leeds, UK and Sydney, Australia and asked to complete a survey that included both scales. The data was analysed using the Rasch measurement model.
A total of 169 RA patients were assessed, with a repeat subsample, resulting in 323 cases for analysis. Both scales met Rasch model expectations. Using the 'possible+probable' cut point from the HADS, 58.3% had neither anxiety nor depression; 13.5% had anxiety only; 6.4% depression only and 21.8% had both 'possible+probable' anxiety and depression. Cut points for depression were comparable across the two scales while a lower cut point for anxiety in the DASS was required to equate prevalence.
This study provides further support for high prevalence of depression and anxiety in RA. It also shows that while these two scales provide a good indication of possible depression and anxiety, the estimates of prevalence so derived could vary, particularly for anxiety. These findings are discussed in terms of comparisons across studies and selection of scales for clinical use.
PMCID: PMC3285517  PMID: 22269280
11.  Anxiety and stress in the postpartum: Is there more to postnatal distress than depression? 
BMC Psychiatry  2006;6:12.
Postnatal depression has received considerable research and clinical attention, however anxiety and stress in the postpartum has been relatively ignored. Along with the widespread use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), depression has become the marker for postnatal maladjustment. Symptoms of anxiety tend to be subsumed within diagnoses of depression, which can result in anxiety being minimized or overlooked in the absence of depression. Some researchers have identified the need to distinguish between postnatal depression and anxiety, and to discern cases where depression and anxiety co-exist. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of postnatal distress using the EPDS and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21).
As part of a larger cross-sectional study, the EPDS and DASS-21 were administered to a convenience sample of 325 primiparous mothers, who ranged in age from 18 to 44 years (M = 32 years). Recruited through mother's groups and health centres in Melbourne Australia, inclusion was limited to mothers whose babies were aged between 6 weeks and 6 months. Analyses included comparisons between the classifications of women according to the EPDS and the DASS-21, and an exploration of the extent to which the EPDS identified anxious-depressed women.
The EPDS identified 80 women (25%) as possibly depressed (using a cut-off of over 9), of which the DASS-21 corroborated 58%. In the total sample, 61 women (19%) were classified by the DASS-21 to be depressed. Using broader criteria for distress, it was revealed by the DASS-21 that a further 33 women (10%) showed symptoms of anxiety and stress without depression. A total of 41 women (13%) had symptoms of anxiety either in isolation or in combination with depression. The DASS-21 identified 7% of the sample as being both anxious and depressed. This at-risk sub-group had higher mean EPDS and DASS-depression scores than their depressed-only counterparts.
The prevalence of anxiety and stress in the present study points to the importance of assessing postnatal women for broader indicators of psychological morbidity than that of depression alone. The DASS-21 appears to be a useful instrument for this purpose.
PMCID: PMC1450275  PMID: 16563155
12.  Psychometric analysis of the Self-Harm Inventory using Rasch modelling 
BMC Psychiatry  2009;9:53.
Deliberate Self-Harm (DSH) is the intentional destruction of healthy body tissue without suicidal intent. DSH behaviours in non-clinical populations vary, and instruments containing a range of behaviours may be more informative than ones with restricted content. The Self-Harm Inventory (SHI) is a widely used measure of DSH in clinical populations (mental and physical health) and covers a broad range of behaviours (self-injury, risk taking and self-defeating acts). The test authors recommend the SHI to screen for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) using a cut-off score of five or more. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychometric characteristics of the SHI in non-clinical samples.
The SHI was administered to a sample of 423 non-clinical participants (university students, age range 17 to 30). External validation was informed by the administration of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21 (DASS-21) to a sub-sample (n = 221). Rasch analysis of the SHI was conducted to provide a stringent test of unidimensionality and to identify the DSH behaviours most likely to be endorsed at each total score.
The SHI showed adequate fit to the Rasch model and no modifications were required following checks of local response dependency, differential item functioning and unidimensionality. The scale identified gender and age differences in scores, with females and older participants reporting higher levels of DSH. SHI scores and DASS-21 scores were related.
The recommended cut-off point of five is likely to comprise mild forms of DSH and may not be indicative of psychopathology in a non-clinical population. Rather it may be more indicative of developmentally related risk taking behaviours while a higher cut-off point may be more suggestive of psychopathology as indicated by higher levels of depression, stress and anxiety.
PMCID: PMC2736947  PMID: 19689823
Depression and anxiety  2009;26(1):E10-E15.
The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale (GADSS) is an interview rating scale designed specifically for assessing symptom severity of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which has demonstrated positive psychometric data in a sample of adult primary care patients with GAD and panic disorder. However, the psychometric properties of the GADSS have not been evaluated for older adults.
This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the GADSS, administered via telephone, with a sample of older primary care patients (n = 223) referred for treatment of worry and/or anxiety.
The GADSS demonstrated adequate internal consistency, strong inter-rater reliability, adequate convergent validity, poor diagnostic accuracy, and mixed discriminant validity.
Results provide mixed preliminary support for use of the GADSS with older adults. Depression and Anxiety 26:E10–E15, 2009.
PMCID: PMC2709998  PMID: 18839400
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale; generalized anxiety disorder; elderly; primary care; measurement; psychometrics
14.  The prevalence and correlates of adult separation anxiety disorder in an anxiety clinic 
BMC Psychiatry  2010;10:21.
Adult separation anxiety disorder (ASAD) has been identified recently, but there is a paucity of data about its prevalence and associated characteristics amongst anxiety patients. This study assessed the prevalence and risk factor profile associated with ASAD in an anxiety clinic.
Clinical psychologists assigned 520 consecutive patients to DSM-IV adult anxiety subcategories using the SCID. We also measured demographic factors and reports of early separation anxiety (the Separation Anxiety Symptom Inventory and a retrospective diagnosis of childhood separation anxiety disorder). Other self-report measures included the Adult Separation Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (ASA-27), the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS-21), personality traits measured by the NEO PI-R and the Work and Social Adjustment Scale. These measures were included in three models examining for overall differences and then by gender: Model 1 compared the conventional SCID anxiety subtypes (excluding PTSD and OCD because of insufficient numbers); Model 2 divided the sample into those with and without ASAD; Model 3 compared those with ASAD with the individual anxiety subtypes in the residual group.
Patients with ASAD had elevated early separation anxiety scores but this association was unique in females only. Except for social phobia in relation to some comparisons, those with ASAD recorded more severe symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, higher neuroticism scores, and greater levels of disability.
Patients with ASAD attending an anxiety clinic are highly symptomatic and disabled. The findings have implications for the classification, clinical identification and treatment of adult anxiety disorders.
PMCID: PMC2846894  PMID: 20219138
15.  A systematic review of depression and anxiety measures with individuals with spinal cord injury 
Spinal cord  2009;47(12):841-851.
Study design
A systematic review.
To review and assess the psychometric properties of depression and anxiety instruments used with spinal cord injury (SCI) populations.
Vancouver, Canada
Electronic databases were searched for papers reporting psychometric properties of depression and anxiety instruments. Pre-established criteria were used to assess the psychometric properties.
Thirteen papers reporting on the psychometric properties of 13 depression and anxiety instruments are in this review, and include: BDI, BSI, CESD-20, CESD-10, DASS-21, GHQ-28, HADS, Ilfeld-PSI, MEDS, PHQ-9, PHQ-9-Short, SCL-90-R, and the Zung SRS. Reliability data is available for 10 instruments, and validity results are available for 12. Evidence spanned the spectrum of evaluation criteria varying from poor to excellent. Responsiveness data is generally lacking.
Given that the reliability and validity findings range for the most part from adequate to excellent, and the large amount of work to develop cutoff scores specific for SCI populations, there is at present no need to develop SCI specific instruments. Because one measure’s psychometric properties do not clearly stand out, it is difficult to recommend the use of one over another. Overall, more psychometric data is needed, and if the instruments are to be used to evaluate treatment outcomes or change over time, responsiveness data is also required. Administering the instruments in tandem with each other and with clinical diagnostic interviews would provide valuable information, as would comparison of results to normative data specific to persons with SCI.
PMCID: PMC3176808  PMID: 19621021 CAMSID: cams1951
spinal cord injury; depression; anxiety; reliability; validity; clinical utility
16.  The effects of relaxation on reducing depression, anxiety and stress in women who underwent mastectomy for breast cancer 
Breast cancer is one of the most frequent malignancies among Iranian women. These patients suffer from a wide range of physical and mental (depression, anxiety and stress) signs and symptoms during the diagnostic and therapeutic processes. Despite the improvement in survival rates due to advances in medical care, different types of psychosocial interventions are still growingly needed considering the increasing number of cancer patients with longer survival times. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of relaxation on depression, anxiety and stress in women who underwent mastectomy for breast cancer.
Materials and Methods:
This clinical trial was conducted during about 4.5 months in a referral chemotherapy clinic of a teaching hospital in Isfahan, Iran. The participants consisted of 48 breast cancer patients who were selected by simple random sampling. They were randomly assigned into two groups of control and case. The control group was treated only by usual medical therapy, whereas the case group was treated by combined medical-relaxation therapy. Data collection tools were the validated Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS42) and a demographic questionnaire. Data were analyzed by SPSS using descriptive statistics, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), chi-square test and paired t-test..
The baseline mean scores of depression, anxiety and stress were not significantly different between the case and control groups. However, the scores in the case group improved significantly after the treatment (p < 0.05). On the contrary, such improvement was not seen in the control group.
Relaxation therapy can be effective in the improvement of depression, anxiety and stress. Therefore, it can be recommended as an effective care program in patients with malignant disorders.
PMCID: PMC3590692  PMID: 23493112
Relaxation; depression; anxiety; stress; mastectomy; breast cancer
17.  The influence of a biopsychosocial-based treatment approach to primary overt hypothyroidism: a protocol for a pilot study 
Trials  2010;11:106.
Hypothyroidism is a prevalent endocrine condition. Individuals with this disease are commonly managed through supplementation with synthetic thyroid hormone, with the aim of alleviating symptoms and restoring normal thyroid stimulating hormone levels. Generally this management strategy is effective and well tolerated. However, there is research to suggest that a significant proportion of hypothyroid sufferers are being inadequately managed. Furthermore, hypothyroid patients are more likely to have a decreased sense of well-being and more commonly experience constitutional and neuropsychiatric complaints, even with pharmacological intervention.
The current management of hypothyroidism follows a biomedical model. Little consideration has been given to a biopsychosocial approach to this condition. Within the chiropractic profession there is growing support for the use of a biopsychosocial-based intervention called Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) for this population.
A placebo-controlled, single-blinded, randomised clinical pilot-trial has been designed to assess the influence of Neuro-Emotional Technique on a population with primary overt hypothyroidism. A sample of 102 adults (≥18 years) who meet the inclusion criteria will be randomised to either a treatment group or a placebo group. Each group will receive ten treatments (NET or placebo) over a six week period, and will be monitored for six months. The primary outcome will involve the measurement of depression using the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). The secondary outcome measures to be used are; serum thyroid stimulating hormone, serum free-thyroxine, serum free-triiodothyronine, serum thyroid peroxidase auto-antibodies, serum thyroglobulin auto-antibodies as well as the measurement of functional health and well-being using the Short-Form-36 Version 2. The emotional states of anxiety and stress will be measured using the DASS. Self-measurement of basal heart rate and basal temperature will also be included among the secondary outcome measures. The primary and secondary measures will be obtained at commencement, six weeks and six months. Measures of basal heart rate and basal temperature will be obtained daily for the six month trial period, with recording to commence one week prior to the intervention.
The study will provide information on the influence of NET when added to existing management regimens in individuals with primary overt hypothyroidism.
Trial Registration
ANZCTR Number: 12607000040460
PMCID: PMC2992059  PMID: 21073760
18.  Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Web-Based Positive Psychology Program for Youth Mental Health: Randomized Controlled Trial 
Youth mental health is a significant public health concern due to the high prevalence of mental health problems in this population and the low rate of those affected seeking help. While it is increasingly recognized that prevention is better than cure, most youth prevention programs have utilized interventions based on clinical treatments (eg, cognitive behavioral therapy) with inconsistent results.
This study explores the feasibility of the online delivery of a youth positive psychology program, Bite Back, to improve the well-being and mental health outcomes of Australian youth. Further aims were to examine rates of adherence and attrition, and to investigate the program’s acceptability.
Participants (N=235) aged 12-18 years were randomly assigned to either of two conditions: Bite Back (n=120) or control websites (n=115). The Bite Back website comprised interactive exercises and information across a variety of positive psychology domains; the control condition was assigned to neutral entertainment-based websites that contained no psychology information. Participants in both groups were instructed to use their allocated website for 6 consecutive weeks. Participants were assessed pre- and postintervention on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-Short form (DASS-21) and the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS).
Of the 235 randomized participants, 154 (65.5%) completed baseline and post measures after 6 weeks. Completers and dropouts were equivalent in demographics, the SWEMWBS, and the depression and anxiety subscales of the DASS-21, but dropouts reported significantly higher levels of stress than completers. There were no differences between the Bite Back and control conditions at baseline on demographic variables, DASS-21, or SWEMWBS scores. Qualitative data indicated that 49 of 61 Bite Back users (79%) reported positive experiences using the website and 55 (89%) agreed they would continue to use it after study completion. Compared to the control condition, participants in the Bite Back condition with high levels of adherence (usage of the website for 30 minutes or more per week) reported significant decreases in depression and stress and improvements in well-being. Bite Back users who visited the site more frequently (≥3 times per week) reported significant decreases in depression and anxiety and improvements in well-being. No significant improvements were found among Bite Back users who demonstrated low levels of adherence or who used the website less frequently.
Results suggest that using an online positive psychology program can decrease symptoms of psychopathology and increase well-being in young people, especially for those who use the website for 30 minutes or longer per week or more frequently (≥3 times per week). Acceptability of the Bite Back website was high. These findings are encouraging and suggest that the online delivery of positive psychology programs may be an alternate way to address mental health issues and improve youth well-being nationally.
Trial Registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN1261200057831; (Archived by Webcite at
PMCID: PMC4071231  PMID: 24901900
adolescent; resilience; psychological; mental health; Internet; early medical intervention
19.  Effects of mental health self-efficacy on outcomes of a mobile phone and web intervention for mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety and stress: secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Psychiatry  2014;14(1):272.
Online psychotherapy is clinically effective yet why, how, and for whom the effects are greatest remain largely unknown. In the present study, we examined whether mental health self-efficacy (MHSE), a construct derived from Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (SLT), influenced symptom and functional outcomes of a new mobile phone and web-based psychotherapy intervention for people with mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety and stress.
STUDY I: Data from 49 people with symptoms of depression, anxiety and/or stress in the mild-to-moderate range were used to examine the reliability and construct validity of a new measure of MHSE, the Mental Health Self-efficacy Scale (MHSES). STUDY II: We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a recently completed randomised controlled trial (N = 720) to evaluate whether MHSE effected post-intervention outcomes, as measured by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) and Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS), for people with symptoms in the mild-to-moderate range.
STUDY I: The data established that the MHSES comprised a unitary factor, with acceptable internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = .89) and construct validity. STUDY II: The intervention group showed significantly greater improvement in MHSE at post-intervention relative to the control conditions (p’s < = .000). MHSE mediated the effects of the intervention on anxiety and stress symptoms. Furthermore, people with low pre-treatment MHSE reported the greatest post-intervention gains in depression, anxiety and overall distress. No effects were found for MHSE on work and social functioning.
Mental health self-efficacy influences symptom outcomes of a self-guided mobile phone and web-based psychotherapeutic intervention and may itself be a worthwhile target to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of online treatment programs.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000625077.
PMCID: PMC4189737  PMID: 25252853
eHealth; Depression; Anxiety; Psychological stress; Self-efficacy; Mobile health; Intervention studies; Work functioning
20.  Psychological Evaluation of Patients in Critical Care/Intensive Care Unit and Patients Admitted in Wards 
Background: Psychological assessment for depression, anxiety and stress among ICU patients and the patients admitted to ward in a hospital in India. This aspect did not get much attention in India so far. Such studies were common in developed countries. Therefore we decided in this study, to analyse the psychological status responses from the hospitalised patients in Mangalore using a validated questionnaire.
Aim: To assess and compare the depression, anxiety and stress Scores from the patients admitted in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and those admitted to ward.
Materials and Methods: Eighty patients admitted to hospital, 40 from ICU and 40 admitted to ward were recruited. They were explained the procedure and after taking an informed consent, they were administered Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS) Questionnaire, which contains 42-item questionnaire which includes three self-report scales designed to measure the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress. The responses were computed and tabulated. We analysed the responses with Student’s t-test and Chi-square test, p<0.05 accepted as statistically significant.
Results: The results revealed significantly elevated stress, depression and anxiety among the ICU patients when compared to those in the ward (p<0.001). Above normal anxiety and stress levels were also seen in the ward patients, compared to the scores in normal range. 50% and 25% respectively showed mild and normal depression scores in ward patients, compared to 12% and 5% in those admitted to ICU. This trend was also true for Anxiety and stress scores.
Conclusion: From the results we found that there were elevated depression, anxiety and stress levels among the patients and this was significantly higher in ICU patients. Various factors could influence the psychological wellbeing of the patients, including the hospital environment, care givers, presence of family members nearby apart from the seriousness of illness, apprehensions about possibility of death. Such studies were rare among Indian patients. The findings of this study could be useful in incorporating suitable psychological help to the patients in hospitals to improve their recovery and wellbeing.
PMCID: PMC4316320  PMID: 25654014
Anxiety; Depression; Intensive care unit; Indian hospital; Stress
21.  Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Reasons for Living—Older Adults Scale: A Suicide Risk Assessment Inventory 
The Gerontologist  2009;49(6):736-745.
Purpose: The purposes of these studies were to develop and initially evaluate the psychometric properties of the Reasons for Living Scale—Older Adult version (RFL-OA), an older adults version of a measure designed to assess reasons for living among individuals at risk for suicide. Design and Methods: Two studies are reported. Study 1 involved instrument development with 106 community-dwelling older adults, and initial psychometric evaluation with a second sample of 119 community-dwelling older adults. Study 2 evaluated the psychometric properties of the RFL-OA in a clinical sample. One hundred eighty-one mental health patients 50 years or older completed the RFL-OA and measures of depression, suicide ideation at the current time and at the worst point in one's life, and current mental status and physical functioning. Results: Strong psychometric properties were demonstrated for the RFL-OA, with high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha coefficient). Convergent validity was evidenced by negative associations among RFL-OA scores and measures of depression and suicide ideation. RFL-OA scores predicted current and worst-episode suicide ideation above and beyond current depression. Discriminant validity was evidenced with measures of current mental status and physical functioning. Criterion-related validity was also demonstrated with respect to lifetime history of suicidal behavior. Implications: These findings provide preliminary support for the validity and reliability of the RFL-OA. The findings also support the potential value of attending to reasons for living during clinical treatment with depressed older adults and others at risk for suicide.
PMCID: PMC2782323  PMID: 19546114
Suicide; Reasons for living; Suicide risk; Resilience
22.  Evaluation of the factor structure and psychometric properties of the brief symptom inventory—18 with homebound older adults 
Homebound older adults are at high risk for depression and anxiety. Systematic screening may increase identification of these difficulties and facilitate service usage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factor structure, internal consistency, and concurrent validity of the Brief Symptom Inventory—18 (BSI-18) for use as a screening instrument for depression and anxiety with homebound older adults and to examine if the BSI-18 could be shortened further and exhibit comparable psychometric properties.
A sample of 142 older adults receiving in-home aging services completed interviews that included the BSI-18 and the depression and anxiety modules of the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV.
Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the theorized three-factor, second-order model of the BSI-18 fit the data well (S-B X2 = 136.17; p = 0.36). The depression and anxiety subscales exhibited high internal consistency (α >0.81), whereas the somatic subscale exhibited lower internal consistency (α = 0.69). Receiver operator curve (ROC) analyses suggest that the BSI-18 depression and anxiety subscales were able to predict those with DSM-IV diagnoses (Depression AUC = 0.89 p <0.001; Anxiety AUC = 0.80, p <0.001). The ROC results suggested adapting a cut score of T = 50 to achieve optimal sensitivity and specificity. The short three-item depression scale exhibited comparable psychometric properties to the full scale, while the three-item somatic and anxiety scales exhibited lower internal consistency and sensitivity.
These findings provide initial evidence that the BSI-18 is valid for use with homebound older adults.
PMCID: PMC4070299  PMID: 20013879
measures; homebound; older adults; psychometrics; anxiety; depression
23.  GP registrar well-being: a cross-sectional survey 
To investigate the major stressors affecting GP registrars, how those at risk can be best identified and the most useful methods of managing or reducing their stress.
Design, setting and participants
Cross-sectional postal questionnaire of all GP registrars in one large regional training provider's catchment area.
Main outcome measures
The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), a specifically developed Registrar Stressor Scale consisting of five subscales of potential stressors, plus closed questions on how to identify and manage stress in GP registrars.
Survey response rate of 51% (102/199). Rural difficulties followed by achieving a work/life balance were the principal stressors. Ten percent of registrars were mildly or moderately depressed or anxious (DASS) and 7% mild to moderately anxious (DASS). Registrars preferred informal means of identifying those under stress (a buddy system and talks with their supervisors); similarly, they preferred to manage stress by discussions with family and friends, debriefing with peers and colleagues, or undertaking sport and leisure activities.
This study supports research which confirms that poor psychological well-being is an important issue for a significant minority of GP trainees. Regional training providers should ensure that they facilitate formal and informal strategies to identify those at risk and assist them to cope with their stress.
PMCID: PMC2835665  PMID: 20181138
24.  The Impact of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy and its Interruption on Anxiety, Stress, Depression and Quality of Life in Thai Patients 
The Open AIDS Journal  2009;3:38-45.
Investigation on anxiety, stress, depression, and quality of life (QoL) within STACCATO, a randomised trial of two treatment strategies: CD4 guided scheduled treatment interruption (STI) compared to continuous treatment (CT).
Thai patients with HIV-infection enrolled in the STACCATO trial.
Anxiety, depression assessed by the questionnaires Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and DASS, stress assessed by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), and QoL evaluated by the HIV Medical Outcome Study (MOS-HIV) questionnaires. Answers to questionnaires were evaluated at 4 time-points: baseline, 24 weeks, 48 weeks and at the end of STACCATO.
A total of 251 patients answered the HADS/DASS and 241 answered the MOS-HIV of the 379 Thai patients enrolled into STACCATO (66.2 and 63.6% respectively). At baseline 16.3% and 7.2% of patients reported anxiety and depression using HADS scale. Using the DASS scale, 35.1% reported mild to moderate and 9.6% reported severe anxiety; 8.8% reported mild to moderate and 2.0% reported severe depression; 42.6% reported mild to moderate and 4.8% reported severe stress. We showed a significant improvement of the MHS across time (p=0.001), but no difference between arms (p=0.17). The summarized physical health status score (PHS) did not change during the trial (p=0.15) nor between arm (p=0.45). There was no change of MHS or PHS in the STI arm, taking into account the number of STI cycle (p=0.30 and 0.57) but MHS significant increased across time-points (p=0.007).
Antiretroviral therapy improved mental health and QOL, irrespective of the treatment strategy.
PMCID: PMC2757643  PMID: 19812705
HIV infection; mental health; quality of life; treatment interruption.
25.  Risk of Placental Abruption in Relation to Maternal Depressive, Anxiety and Stress Symptoms 
Journal of affective disorders  2010;130(1-2):280-284.
Little is known about the influence of psychiatric factors on the etiology of placental abruption (PA), an obstetrical condition that complicates 1-2% of pregnancies. We examined the risk of AP in relation to maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy.
This case-control study included 373 AP cases and 368 controls delivered at five medical centers in Lima, Peru. Depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21). Multivariable logistic regression models were fit to calculate odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for confounders.
Depressive symptoms of increasing severity (using the DASS depression subscale) was associated with AP (p for trend=0.02). Compared with women with no depressive symptoms, the aOR (95%CI) for AP associated with each level of severity of depression symptoms based on the DASS assessment were as follows: mild 1.84 (0.91-3.74); moderate 1.25 (0.67-2.33); and severe 4.68 (0.98-22.4). The corresponding ORs for mild, moderate, and moderately severe depressive symptoms based on the PHQ assessment were 1.10 (0.79-1.54), 3.31 (1.45-7.57), and 5.01 (1.06-23.6), respectively. A positive gradient was observed for the odds of AP with severity of anxiety (p for trend=0.002) and stress symptoms (p for trend=0.002).
These cross-sectionally collected data may be subject to recall bias.
Maternal psychiatric disorders may be associated with an increased occurrence of AP. Larger studies that allow for more precise evaluations of maternal psychiatric health in relation to AP risk are warranted.
PMCID: PMC2994998  PMID: 20692040
placental abruption; epidemiology; pregnancy; depression; anxiety; risk factors

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