Initial validation of a numeric zero to ten scale to measure children's state anxiety

Margie Crandall, Cathleen R Lammers, Craig W Senders, Marilyn Savedra, Jerome V. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Although children experience physical and behavioral consequences from anxiety in many health care settings, anxiety assessment and subsequent management is not often performed because of the lack of clinically useful subjective scales. Current state anxiety scales are either observational or multidimensional self-report measures requiring significant clinician and patient time. Because anxiety is subjective, in this pilot study, we evaluated the validity of a self-report numeric 0-10 anxiety scale that is easy to administer to children in the clinical setting. METHODS: A descriptive correlation research design was used to determine the concurrent validity for a numeric 0-10 anxiety scale with the state portion of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC). During clinic preoperative visits, 60 children, 7-13 yr, provided anxiety scores for the 0-10 scale and the STAIC pre- and posteducation. Simple linear regression and Pearson correlation were performed to determine the strength of the relationship. RESULTS: STAIC was associated with the anxiety scale both preeducation (β = 1.20, SE[β] = 0.34, F[1,58] = 12.74, P = 0.0007) and posteducation (β = 1.97, SE[β]) = 0.31, F[1,58] = 40.11, P < 0.0001). Correlations were moderate for pre-education (r = 0.424) and posteducation (r = 0.639). CONCLUSIONS: This initial study supports the validity of the numeric 0-10 anxiety self-report scale to assess state anxiety in children as young as 7 yr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1253
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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