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, Marco Innamorati, Nicholas T. Van Dam, Leonardo Carlucci, Aristide Saggino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1008
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • factor analysis
  • geriatrics
  • physical health

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