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Anaesthesia. 2007 Mar;62(3):239-43.

Psychological assessment of ICU survivors: a comparison between the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress scale.

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Department of Surgery, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 0HS, UK.


Recovery from a critical illness can be delayed by persistent anxiety and depression. To identify such patients, a new self-report questionnaire (the Depression, Anxiety and Stress scale, DASS) was used alongside an established instrument (the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, HADS) in those who had spent a minimum of 3 days (median 9 days) in a general intensive care unit. Fifty-one patients were studied 3 months later, and 45 survivors were reviewed at 9 months. High Cronbach alpha values (0.92-0.95) for each subscale of DASS confirmed its internal consistency, and likewise for HADS (0.82-0.86). HADS and DASS correlated strongly at each time point both for anxiety (r = 0.88) and depression (r = 0.93), with few discrepant values on a Bland and Altman plot. DASS performs as consistently as HADS in screening for anxiety and depression, and its psychometric properties support its use in an intensive care setting.

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