Geriatric Anxiety Scale


Geriatric Anxiety Scale

Geriatric Anxiety Scale (30-item full length version)

The Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS; Segal, June, Payne, Coolidge, & Yochim, 2010) is a 30-item self-report measure used to assess and quantify anxiety symptoms among older adults. Individuals are asked to indicate how often they have experienced each symptom during the last week, answering on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from “Not at all” (0) to “All the time” (3). GAS items were derived from the broad range of anxiety disorder symptoms in the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5. Scoring provides a total score and 3 subscale scores (somatic symptoms, cognitive symptoms, and affective symptoms) for which normative and interpretive guidelines are available. The GAS total score is based on the first 25 items and ranges from 0 to 75. The additional 5 content items assess areas of anxiety commonly reported to be of concern for older adults, including the following: concern about finances; concern about one’s health; concern about children; fear of dying; and fear of becoming a burden to others. These content items are used for clinical purposes and they do not load on the total score. The GAS demonstrated high internal consistency of scale scores and strong evidence of validity for the quantitative assessment of anxiety symptoms in diverse community, psychiatric, and medical samples of older adults (Gould, Segal, Yochim, Pachana, Byrne, & Beaudreau, 2014; Segal et al., 2010; Segal & Mueller, 2019; Yochim, Mueller, June, & Segal, 2011; Yochim, Mueller, & Segal, 2013).


Notably, a 10-item short version, called the GAS-10, is available and has strong psychometric properties as a brief assessment instrument in diverse samples of older adults (Mueller, Segal, Gavett, Marty, Yochim, June, & Coolidge, 2015).

Geriatric Anxiety Scale Long-Term Care Version (GAS-LTC)

A Long-Term Care version of the GAS, called the GAS-LTC, contains 10 items with a simple yes/no response format. This measure is available for further testing in LTC settings (Pifer & Segal, 2020). During the validation study among LTC residents (N = 66), the GAS-LTC demonstrated good internal consistency of scale scores (α = .80) and good convergent validity with the GAI (r = .70, p < .01), the GDS-15 (r = .67, p < .01), and the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (r = .54, p < .01). Internal consistency on the GAS-LTC did not significantly vary between groups with high (α = .75) and low (α = .77) self-reported subjective memory impairment. Preliminarily, the GAS-LTC appears ready for further testing and evaluation in clinical and research LTC settings.

The GAS is free for use by individual clinicians or researchers. For those individuals who wish to use the GAS for research or clinical purposes, please complete the following form. Upon review, Dr. Segal will communicate with you directly and provide the measure.

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Gould, C., Segal, D. L., Yochim, B. P., Pachana, N. A., Byrne, G. J., & Beaudreau, S. A. (2014). Measuring anxiety in late life: A psychometric examination of the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory and Geriatric Anxiety Scale. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28, 804-811.

Mueller, A. E., Segal, D. L., Gavett, B., Marty, M. A., Yochim, B., June, A., & Coolidge, F. L. (2015). Geriatric Anxiety Scale: Item response theory analysis, differential item functioning, and creation of a ten-item short form (GAS-10). International Psychogeriatrics, 27, 1099-1111.

Pifer, M. A., & Segal, D. L. (2020). Geriatric Anxiety Scale: Development and preliminary validation of a long-term care anxiety assessment measure. Clinical Gerontologist, 43(3), 295-307. doi:10.1080/07317115.2020.1725793

Segal, D. L., June, A., Payne, M., Coolidge, F. L., & Yochim, B. (2010). Development and initial validation of a self-report assessment tool for anxiety among older adults: The Geriatric Anxiety Scale. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24, 709-714.

Segal, D. L., & Mueller, A. E. (2019). Evidence of validity of the Geriatric Anxiety Scale for use among medically ill older adults. Journal of Depression and Anxiety Forecast, 2(1), 1010.

Yochim, B. P., Mueller, A. E., June, A., & Segal, D. L. (2011). Psychometric properties of the Geriatric Anxiety Scale: Comparison to the Beck Anxiety Inventory and Geriatric Anxiety Inventory. Clinical Gerontologist, 34, 21-33.

Yochim, B. P., Mueller, A., & Segal, D. L. (2013). Late life anxiety is associated with decreased memory and executive functioning in community dwelling older adults. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 567-575.