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J Nurs Meas. 2009;17(1):19-28.

Support for the reliability and validity of a six-item state anxiety scale derived from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing, Madison, WI 53792, USA.


Identifying the most efficient and theoretically appropriate methods to assess patient anxiety in fast-paced medical environments may be beneficial for clinical purposes as well as for research. The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of two previously published six-item versions of the State form of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and to identify the version that would be most appropriate to use with a sample of parents who had infants with normal or abnormal newborn screens. In the current study, confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to evaluate the fit of the two six-item forms with STAI data collected at three time points from 288 parents of 150 infants. Study groups of parents were based upon infant newborn screens and subsequent diagnostic testing to include cystic fibrosis (CF; n = 26), congenital hypothyroidism (CH; n = 39), CF Carriers (CF-C; n = 45), and healthy infants (H; n = 40). The results showed the version containing items 1, 3, 6, 15, 16, and 17 of the State form of the STAI to be a better fitting model across all three time points, and it had better internal consistency than the version containing items 5, 9, 10, 12, 17, and 20. Both short forms were highly correlated with the 20-item STAI score, and all internal consistency reliabilities were greater than .90. It was concluded that the version containing items 1, 3, 6, 15, 16, and 17 of the State Anxiety scale was a reliable and valid instrument for this study sample.

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