stethoscope laying on a white table


Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

The Beck anxiety scale, also known as the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), was designed by Aaron Beck to quantify anxiety in individuals. Before Beck anxiety scale came into practice, there was no other way to distinguish anxiety from depression. It is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report scale that is used to gauge the severity of a person’s anxiety. A fair indicator of an individual’s level of anxiety, the Beck anxiety scale is can be easily used, with each question coming with four possible answers.

The questions ask the individual about how he/she has been feeling in the last week, expressed as common symptoms of anxiety. Such symptoms include hot and cold sweats, numbness, or feelings of dread. All the 21 questions have the same set of four possible answers that are arranged in columns and the person needs to answer them by marking the right answer with a cross. These answers are: not at all, mildly, moderately, and severely. The answers given by an individual will faithfully reflect the level of his/her anxiety.

Beck anxiety scale

The Beck anxiety scale was scored from 0 to 63. The lower the score, the lower the anxiety level. And the higher the score, the more the anxiety. A score between 0 and 7 denotes the minimal level of anxiety while a score between 8 and 15 shows that the person’s anxiety level is mild. If a person’s score lies in the range 16-25, his/her anxiety is moderate, but if someone scores between 26 and the maximum of 63, he/she must be suffering from severe anxiety. It has been observed that women with anxiety disorders usually score more points than their male counterparts. A healthy person should have a score below 21.

While an under-21 score is a good sign, the individual answering the set of 21 questions must be honest in his/her replies. Or else, the assessment would be wrong and the person would only be deceiving him/herself. In such cases, by covering up their symptoms and pretending to be normal, they will only distance themselves from their near and dear ones. If a person’s anxiety level is moderate, it could serve as a warning against more serious conditions in the future. At this stage, one should examine the roots of such feelings and look for suitable remedies.

lonely woman with anxiety

When a person needs help?

If a person’s anxiety level is found to be severe, he/she would require some help. This severe level of anxiety is harmful to a person’s mental and physical health and it must be treated aggressively with appropriate methods. In fact, a person having such a severe level of anxiety will also affect the lives of those who are close to him/her.

It has been observed that the Beck anxiety scale is a great tool for assessing panic symptomatology. The scale has been used in a variety of different patient groups, which includes adolescents and elderly patients. A review published in 1999 said that the Beck anxiety scale was the third most used research measure of anxiety, placed behind the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Fear Survey Schedule. Over the years, the use of this tool has increased significantly. Over the years, the use of this tool has increased significantly

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