Establishing a trait anxiety threshold that signals likelihood of anxiety disorders Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Evidence suggests that the state trait inventory for cognitive and somatic anxiety (STICSA) may be a more pure measure of anxiety than other commonly used scales. Further, the STICSA has excellent psychometric properties in both clinical and nonclinical samples. The present study aimed to extend the utility of the STICSA-Trait version by identifying a cut-off score that could differentiate a group of clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder patients (n=398) from a group of student controls (n=439). Two receiver operating characteristic curve analyses indicated cut-off scores of 43 (sensitivity=.73, specificity=.74, classification accuracy=.74) and 40 (sensitivity=.80, specificity=.67, classification accuracy=.73), respectively. In a large community sample (n =6685), a score of 43 identified 11.5% of individuals as probable cases of clinical anxiety, while a score of 40 identified 17.0% of individuals as probable cases of clinical anxiety. As a result of differences in sensitivity and specificity, the present findings suggest a cut-off score of 43 is optimal to identify probable cases of clinical anxiety, while a cut-off score of 40 is optimal to screen for the possible presence of anxiety disorders.

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publication date

  • January 2013