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Title: Norms for Zung's Self-rating Anxiety Scale
Contributor(s): Dunstan, Debra A  (author)orcid ; Scott, Ned  (author)
Publication Date: 2020-02-28
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1186/s12888-019-2427-6
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Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 520303 Counselling psychology
520304 Health psychology
520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920410 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200409 Mental health
Abstract: Background
Zung's Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) is a norm-referenced scale which enjoys widespread use a screener for anxiety disorders. However, recent research (Dunstan DA and Scott N, Depress Res Treat 2018:9250972, 2018) has questioned whether the existing cut-off for identifying the presence of a disorder might be lower than ideal.
The current study explored this issue by examining sensitivity and specificity figures against diagnoses made on the basis of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) in clinical and community samples. The community sample consisted of 210 participants recruited to be representative of the Australian adult population. The clinical sample consisted of a further 141 adults receiving treatment from a mental health professional for some form of anxiety disorder.
Mathematical formulas, including Youden's Index and the Receiver Operating Characteristics Curve, applied to positive PHQ diagnoses (presence of a disorder) from the clinical sample and negative PHQ diagnoses (absence of a disorder) from the community sample suggested that the ideal cut-off point lies between the current and original points recommended by Zung.
Consideration of prevalence rates and of the potential costs of false negative and false positive diagnoses, suggests that, while the current cut-off of 36 might be appropriate in the context of clinical screening, the original raw score cut-off of 40 would be most appropriate when the SAS is used in research.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: BMC Psychiatry, v.20, p. 1-8
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1471-244X
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health
School of Psychology

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