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A comparison between some standardized scales of evaluation of anxiety and depression in nursing staff

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Anxiety and depression can be evaluated through different methods. We studied the current associations between the commonest evaluation methods that are present in scientific literature.

Materials and methods

We analyzed a population of 1392 nurses working in intensive care units (ICUs) and in general medicine units (GMUs), distributed in 101 Italian hospitals (with a mean age of 32± 6.9 years, 73.8 % female). We considered the following evaluation scales: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, divided in anxiety (HAD A) and depression (HAD D) status; the STAI scale, divided in acute anxiety (Y-1) and chronic anxiety (Y-2) status; the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI.), divided in Emotional Exhaustion (EE), Depersonalization (DP) and Personal Accomplishment (PA). Assuming the HAD as a reference scale, we evaluated the influence of the others scales to determine HAD. The population was divided, distinctly for anxiety and depression, into three groups, according to standardized parameters of HAD - `non-cases' (HAD 0-7), `doubtful cases' (HAD 8-10), and `cases' (HAD 11-21). We used multiple linear regression models; statistical significance was accepted as P<0.05.


The regression coefficients of the multiple linear regression models are expressed in the table, with the variables that result in statistical significance. For depression, we considered doubtful cases and cases together (last being only 39).


1) Besides HAD A, STAI Y-2 also seems to be useful for evaluating anxiety, whatever the degree of it. 2) Besides HAD D, STAI Y-1 and MBI EE also seem to be useful for evaluating depression, whatever the degree of it.


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Chiumello, D., Caironi, P., Pelosi, P. et al. A comparison between some standardized scales of evaluation of anxiety and depression in nursing staff. Crit Care 4 (Suppl 1), P231 (2000).

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