week 4 scale paper - Psychological Construct: Anxiety...

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Psychological Construct: Anxiety Construct to be measured: Anxiety The construct to be measured in this study is anxiety. Anxiety is a familiar construct; not only can it lead to a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but it is also likely to show up with other diseases, such as depression. While the term anxiety has several different lay uses, the diagnosis of a generalized anxiety order requires specific criteria under the DSM-IV. The characteristics of anxiety include: at least six months of excessive anxiety and worry about a variety of events and situations and difficulty controlling anxiety or relaxing. In addition, to support a diagnosis of GAD, an adult subject must exhibit the presence of three of the following symptoms for at least six months: feeling wound-up, tense, or restless; being easily fatigued or worn out; concentration problems; irritability; significant muscle tension; or difficulty with sleep. These symptoms cannot be part of another mental disorder, due to drugs or a medical disorder, and must cause significant distress or problems functioning in daily life (APA, 2000). Literature review Although other tests exist to measure anxiety, the gold standard in measuring anxiety appears to be the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), though it is actually the third-most popular test used. The BAI purports not only to measure symptoms of anxiety, but also to significantly aid in a diagnosis of GAD. However, the BAI has some significant limitations, which should be considered in the development of any tool attempting to measure anxiety of the purposes of a GAD diagnosis. For example, in older adult populations, there seems to be a significant
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association between non-cognitive anxiety symptoms and the number of self-reported medical conditions (Wetherell and Gatz, 2005). Those results “suggest that, in nonclinical samples, the somatic items from the BAI may tap into symptoms of medical illness rather than anxiety, which may lead to overestimates of anxiety symptoms in medically ill samples” (Wetherell and Gatz, 2005). As a result, any test measuring the construct of anxiety with the goal of diagnosing GAD may need to be more tuned-in to a subject’s overall physical health.
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week 4 scale paper - Psychological Construct: Anxiety...

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