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Measuring anxiety in the elderly: psychometric properties of the state trait inventory of cognitive and somatic anxiety (STICSA) in an elderly Italian sample

  • Michela Balsamo (a1), Marco Innamorati (a1), Nicholas T. Van Dam (a2), Leonardo Carlucci (a1) and Aristide Saggino (a1)...

Abstract

Background:

Despite its increasing personal and societal impact, assessment of late-life anxiety has received relatively little attention in psychiatric research. Differential symptom presentation and physical comorbidities among the elderly, relative to younger cohorts creates a need for anxiety measures that are psychometrically validated in the elderly.

Methods:

The present study examined the factor structure and discriminant validity of the state-trait inventory for cognitive and somatic anxiety (STICSA) in a sample of Italian middle-aged and older adults. Participants were 396 community-dwelling middle-aged (50–64 years) and older (≥65 years) adults. In addition to the STICSA, participants completed two depression measures and a general well-being survey with physical and mental health subscales.

Results:

Factor analysis supported the validity of both state–trait and cognitive–somatic distinctions underlying the STICSA, all dimensions exhibited excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's α coefficients ≥ 0.86), and correlations with depression measures provided limited evidence for differentiation of anxious and depressive symptoms. The STICSA also showed evidence of discriminating anxious symptoms from physical health symptoms, a particularly relevant feature of a valid anxiety measure in elderly samples.

Conclusions:

The STICSA appears to be a valid measure of cognitive and somatic anxiety in the elderly.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Michela Balsamo, Psychometric Laboratory, Department of Psychological Sciences, Humanities and Territory, “G. d’Annunzio” University, Via dei Vestini 30, 66100 Chieti, Italy. Phone/Fax: +39-0871 3555309. Email: michela.balsamo@libero.it.

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Measuring anxiety in the elderly: psychometric properties of the state trait inventory of cognitive and somatic anxiety (STICSA) in an elderly Italian sample

  • Michela Balsamo (a1), Marco Innamorati (a1), Nicholas T. Van Dam (a2), Leonardo Carlucci (a1) and Aristide Saggino (a1)...

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