Depression Anxiety Stress Scales
The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) is a 42-item self-report instrument designed to measure the three related negative emotional states of depression, anxiety and tension/stress.
Each of the three DASS scales contains 14 items, divided into subscales of 2-5 items with similar content. The Depression scale assesses dysphoria, hopelessness, devaluation of life, self-deprecation, lack of interest/involvement, anhedonia, and inertia. The Anxiety scale assesses autonomic arousal, skeletal muscle effects, situational anxiety, and subjective experience of anxious affect. The Stress scale is sensitive to levels of chronic non-specific arousal. It assesses difficulty relaxing, nervous arousal, and being easily upset/agitated, irritable/over-reactive and impatient. Subjects are asked to use 4-point severity/frequency scales to rate the extent to which they have experienced each state over the past week.
As the scales of the DASS have been shown to have a high internal consistency and to yield meaningful discriminations in a variety of settings, the scales should meet the needs of both researchers and clinicians who wish to measure current state or change in state over time (e.g., in the course of treatment) on the three dimensions of depression, anxiety and stress.
The DASS is suitable for screening adolescents and adults. It may be administered by non-psychologists, but decisions based on particular score profiles should be made only by experienced clinicians who have carried out an appropriate clinical examination.
Notes: by Lovibond, S.H. & Lovibond, P.F., The Psychology Foundation of Australia