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The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), created by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory that is used for measuring the severity of an individual's anxiety.



The BAI consists of twenty-one questions about how the subject has been feeling in the last week, expressed as common symptoms of anxiety (such as numbness, hot and cold sweats, or feelings of dread). Each question has the same set of four possible answer choices, which are arranged in columns and are answered by marking the appropriate one with a cross. These are:

  • MILDLY: It did not bother me much.
  • MODERATELY: It was very unpleasant, but I could stand it.
  • SEVERELY: I could barely stand it.

The BAI has a maximum score of 63.

  • 0-7: minimal level of anxiety
  • 8-15: mild anxiety
  • 16-25: moderate anxiety
  • 26-63: severe anxiety

Note: women with anxiety disorders tend to score 4 points higher than men with anxiety disorders

Clinical use

Evidence suggests the scale is best at assessing panic symptomatology[1]. It has been used in a variety of different patient groups, including adolescents[2] and elderly patients[3].

A 1999 review found that it was the third most used research measure of anxiety, behind the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Fear Survey Schedule[4].

See also


  1. ^ Leyfer OT, Ruberg JL, Woodruff-Borden J (2006). "Examination of the utility of the Beck Anxiety Inventory and its factors as a screener for anxiety disorders". J Anxiety Disord 20 (4): 444–58. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2005.05.004. PMID 16005177.  
  2. ^ Osman A, Hoffman J, Barrios FX, Kopper BA, Breitenstein JL, Hahn SK (2002). "Factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Beck Anxiety Inventory in adolescent psychiatric inpatients". J Clin Psychol 58 (4): 443–56. doi:10.1002/jclp.1154. PMID 11920696.  
  3. ^ Kabacoff RI, Segal DL, Hersen M, Van Hasselt VB (1997). "Psychometric properties and diagnostic utility of the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory with older adult psychiatric outpatients". J Anxiety Disord 11 (1): 33–47. doi:10.1016/S0887-6185(96)00033-3. PMID 9131880.  
  4. ^ Piotrowski C (1999). "The status of the Beck Anxiety Inventory in contemporary research". Psychol Rep 85 (1): 261–2. doi:10.2466/PR0.85.5.261-262. PMID 10575991.  


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