Assessing anxiety in Parkinson's disease (PD) has been a recent focus, and a number of studies have extensively investigated the validity of anxiety rating scales in PD. The present review aims to provide an overview of anxiety scales widely used and/or validated in PD, and to highlight recommendations for future research required in this area.
A literature search was performed using terms such as Parkinson* disease, psychiatric, depress*, anxiety, assessment, scales, and valid* in PsycInfo, PubMed, and Web of Science databases. Validation studies and reviews focussed on assessment of anxiety in PD were included.
The literature search identified nine anxiety rating scales. The new Parkinson's Anxiety Scale (PAS) showed good psychometric properties. Having a simple design appropriate for older adults and items focussed on cognitive anxiety, the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) also appeared promising for use in PD. The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) did not demonstrate satisfactory psychometric characteristics when used in PD, while other scales had limited or no evidence of validity or reliability to infer judgments.
PAS and GAI are can be recommended for use in PD without dementia. Usefulness of these scales to assess anxiety in dementia should be examined in the future. Moreover, the complex symptomatology of anxiety relating to “off” PD medication states were not addressed in these scales. Further research is required to develop an anxiety scale tailored for PD.