Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Anxiety and Its Measurement

  • Kate L. Jansen
  • Katherine T. Fortenberry
  • Molly S. Clark
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_938-2



Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, physiological, and behavioral components. It is described as the “apprehensive anticipation of future danger or misfortune accompanied by a feeling of worry, distress, and/or somatic symptoms of tension” (American Psychiatric Association [APA] 2013, p. 818). The ICD-10 defines anxiety as a combination of symptoms including feelings of apprehension, muscle tension, restlessness, irritability, and autonomic arousal such as sweating or shaking (World Health Organization [WHO] 1993). These components can be measured through self-report instruments, clinical interview, and behavioral observations.


Several types of assessment measures can be used in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety. Screening questions and instruments are often used first when anxiety is suspected in a clinical setting. These can include single-item questions or brief screening instruments...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate L. Jansen
    • 1
  • Katherine T. Fortenberry
    • 2
  • Molly S. Clark
    • 3
  1. 1.Behavioral SciencesMidwestern UniversityGlendaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family and Preventive MedicineThe University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Deborah J. Wiebe
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychological SciencesUniversity of California, MercedMercedUSA