Evidence-based assessment/Instruments/Beck Anxiety Inventory
The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), created by Aaron T. Beck and other colleagues, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory that is used for measuring the severity of anxiety in children and adults. The questions used in this measure ask about common symptoms of anxiety that the subject has had during the past week (including the day you take it) (such as numbness and tingling, sweating not due to heat, and fear of the worst happening). It is designed for individuals who are of 17 years of age or older and takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Several studies have found the Beck Anxiety Inventory to be an accurate measure of anxiety symptoms in children and adults.
Question breakdown, scoring and interpretation
Each question inquires about how bothersome a symptom of anxiety has been for the subject over the past week. Scoring the BAI is based on a 0-3 point scale, with each question being scored as follows based on participant response:
- 0 points: NOT AT ALL
- 1 point: MILDLY: It did not bother me much.
- 2 points: MODERATELY: It wasn't pleasant at times.
- 3 points: SEVERELY: It bothered me a lot.
The point values of the chosen answer choices are then summed to produce a total measure score. The BAI has a maximum score of 63.
Interpretation of scores
The following guidelines are the currently used in interpreting the total score:
- 0-7: minimal anxiety
- 8-15: mild anxiety
- 16-25: moderate anxiety
- 26-63: severe anxiety
In 1993, the interpretation guidelines were updated (see above). Prior to 1993, the 1988 interpretation guide was used and is listed below. Please see page 1 of the BAI manual for a full discussion of changes between the 1988 edition and the current 1993 edition of the BAI.
- 0-9: normal anxiety
- 10-18: mild-moderate anxiety
- 19-29: moderate-severe anxiety
- 30-63: severe anxiety
Note: women with anxiety disorders tend to score 4 points higher than men with anxiety disorders
- Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
- EffectiveChildTherapy.Org information on fear, worry, and anxiety
- Leyfer, OT; Ruberg, JL; Woodruff-Borden, J (2006). "Examination of the utility of the Beck Anxiety Inventory and its factors as a screener for anxiety disorders.". Journal of anxiety disorders 20 (4): 444–58. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2005.05.004. PMID 16005177.
- Osman, A; Hoffman, J; Barrios, FX; Kopper, BA; Breitenstein, JL; Hahn, SK (April 2002). "Factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Beck Anxiety Inventory in adolescent psychiatric inpatients.". Journal of clinical psychology 58 (4): 443–56. doi:10.1002/jclp.1154. PMID 11920696.
- Beck AT, Steer RA (1993). Beck Anxiety Inventory Manual. San Antonio: Harcourt Brace and Company.