Exploration of the quality of three measures for assessing state anxiety in hospitalized cardiac patients

Kari A Radford, University of Rhode Island


For many years it has been documented that cardiac patients in the acute care setting experience episodic elevations in anxiety which often have a significant, negative physiological impact. The purpose of this exploratory study was to test three state anxiety short-form scales (NEWTEN - a newly created scale, Anxiety Scale - AS, and SAI-6 - short form of Spielberger's State Anxiety Inventory-SAI) for measuring state anxiety in hospitalized cardiac patients. Criteria-related validity was used to correlate each state anxiety scale with Spielberger's SAI, which is considered the gold standard and has yielded high levels of validity and reliability.^ The study was conducted over a two month period at a suburban teaching hospital in central Massachusetts and utilized two groups of cardiac patients. Ninety-two subjects participated in the study, ranging in age from 30 to 89, and were equally distributed by gender. Subjects responded verbally to the three scales, reflecting on the time when they were experiencing chest pain that caused them to seek help, or when they were waiting for a cardiac procedure. ^ A Pearson's r correlation score of .75 was found for the NEWTEN scale versus .69 for the AS and .78 for the SAI-6. Cronbach's alpha was .85 for the NEWTEN scale and .80 for the SAI-6. This shows high internal consistency reliability of the new scale. Although none of the short-form anxiety scales ranked highest across the board, the NEWTEN scale ranked high in correlational data and qualities assessed, including the lowest emotional impact (28%), and the highest preference of instruments (51%). It did not rank at the bottom in any category.^ Limitations in this study included a short timeframe, moderate sample size and limited ethnicity. This study was the first step in instrument development of a scale to measure state anxiety among cardiac patients. Although no scale excelled in all items, the data summary for the NEWTEN scale yielded strength of correlation and qualities giving merit and support to move forward with continued research to of this new instrument to try to establish validity and reliability.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Health Sciences, Medicine and Surgery|Health Sciences, Nursing

Recommended Citation

Kari A Radford, "Exploration of the quality of three measures for assessing state anxiety in hospitalized cardiac patients" (2009). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3380535.