Anxiety is a common symptom in today’s society, and there are various tests and scales that clinicians use to measure the degree to which a person is anxious. These tests make the diagnosis of anxiety easier – so a person suffering with this condition can get the help they need.
One such test is the Beck Anxiety Inventory Test – a question-based test that determines whether a person has clinically significant anxiety – and how mild or severe it is. It’s just one of the tests mental health clinicians use to diagnose and treat an anxious person.
What is the Beck Anxiety Inventory?
The Beck Anxiety Inventory is a series of twenty-one questions that ask about specific symptoms of anxiety. For example, some questions ask about physical symptoms of anxiety, such as whether a person experiences cold sweats, flushing, trembling, a choking sensation, or a rapid heartbeat – among others. Other questions address mental symptoms of anxiety – such as whether a person experiences constant worry, fear, or nervousness.
A person taking the Beck Anxiety Inventory test has four options for answering each question. They are asked to respond with the degree to which that symptom affects them:
Not at all
Each answer is given points ranging from zero to three. A person who doesn’t have the symptoms would score a zero for that question. If it’s severe enough they would mark it “severely” and receive three points for that question.
The total points on each question is added up to give a total “anxiety score” for the Beck Anxiety Inventory. The score is interpreted as follows:
0 to 7: Minimum anxiety
8-15: Mild Anxiety
16-25: Moderate Anxiety
26-63: Severe Anxiety
Women who are anxious usually score four points higher than men with anxiety, which needs to be taken into account when interpreting the results.
Is the Beck Anxiety Inventory Accurate?
The Beck Anxiety Inventory test is effective for differentiating between anxious and non-anxious people, although it’s best for diagnosing people with panic-type anxiety and panic attacks.
The Beck Anxiety Inventory has some advantages over another common test used to determine a person’s level of anxiety called the Hamilton Anxiety Scale. This test consists of fourteen questions – seven related to physical anxiety symptoms and seven that ask about mental anxiety.
The problem with this test is that many people with depression also score high on the Hamilton Anxiety test, which makes the Hamilton Anxiety test a less specific test for diagnosing anxiety.
How Can You Take the Beck Anxiety Inventory Test?
Clinicians buy this test from a company called Pearson who owns the copyright. Despite this, there are a number of copies circulating on the internet that some people use to self-test themselves – although these copies violate copyright law. All in all, the Beck Anxiety Inventory test is an easy test to complete and score, but it’s best to take it under the care of a mental health professional that can help with interpreting the results.
Psychol Rep 85 (1): 261′”2.