Validation of a Brief Measure of Anxiety-Related Severity and Impairment

The Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS)

Published In: Journal of Affective Disorders, v. 112, no. 1-3, Jan. 2009, p. 92-101

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Laura Campbell-Sills, Sonya B. Norman, Michelle G. Craske, Greer Sullivan, Ariel J. Lang, Denise A. Chavira, Alexander Bystritsky, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Peter Roy-Byrne, Murray Stein

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BACKGROUND: The Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS) is a 5-item self-report measure that can be used to assess severity and impairment associated with any anxiety disorder or multiple anxiety disorders. A prior investigation with a nonclinical sample supported the reliability and validity of the OASIS; however, to date it has not been validated for use in clinical samples. METHODS: The present study assessed the psychometric properties of the OASIS in a large sample (N = 1036) of primary care patients whose physicians referred them to an anxiety disorders treatment study. Latent structure, internal consistency, convergent/discriminant validity, and cut-score analyses were conducted. RESULTS: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a unidimensional structure. The five OASIS items displayed strong loadings on the single factor and had a high degree of internal consistency. OASIS scores demonstrated robust correlations with global and disorder-specific measures of anxiety, and weak correlations with measures of unrelated constructs. A cut-score of 8 correctly classified 87% of this sample as having an anxiety diagnosis or not. LIMITATIONS: Convergent validity measures consisted solely of other self-report measures of anxiety. Future studies should evaluate the convergence of OASIS scores with clinician-rated and behavioral measures of anxiety severity. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this investigation suggests that the OASIS is a valid instrument for measurement of anxiety severity and impairment in clinical samples. Its brevity and applicability to a wide range of anxiety disorders enhance its utility as a screening and assessment tool.

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