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Beck Anxiety Inventory

 Beck Anxiety Inventory

The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), created by Aaron T. Beck and other colleagues, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory that is used for measuring the severity of anxiety in children and adults. The questions used in this measure ask about common symptoms of anxiety that the subject has had during the past week (including the day you take it). I designed it for individuals who are of 17 years of age or older and takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Several studies have found the Beck Anxiety Inventory to be an accurate measure of anxiety symptoms in children and adults. 

Scoring and Interpretation

The BAI contains twenty-one questions, each answer being scored on a scale value of 0 (not at all) to 3 (severely). Higher total scores indicate more severe anxiety symptoms. The standardized cut-offs are:

  • 0–9: normal to minimal anxiety

  • 10–18: mild to moderate anxiety

  • 19–29: moderate to severe anxiety

  • 30–63: severe anxiety

Minimum score 0 max 63

Evidence

The BAI has been criticized for its predominant focus on physical symptoms of anxiety (almost akin to a panic response). As such, it is often paired with the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, which provides a more accurate assessment of the cognitive components of anxiety (i.e., worry, catastrophizing, etc.) commonly seen in generalized anxiety disorder.

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