-Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
The department of psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital has created a new questionnaire and measurement scale to evaluate anxiety in senior citizens. Anxiety is a condition that is becoming more common as an individual gets older. In order to determine the condition of a medical disorder, it is necessary to evaluate outcomes. Standardized scales are always recommended as a tool to treat psychiatric disorders.
Some symptoms of Anxiety fall into four general categories:
* Tense muscles, which leads to shaking, trembling, muscle restlessness, and easy tiring
* Increased nervous system activity which leads to shortness of breath, rapid heart reate, sweating, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, flushes or chills, frequent urination, or difficult swallowing
* Paranoia, feeling irritable
* Changes in normal behavior to avoid stressful situations such as avoiding meetings which leads to excessive hand washing for example
This new scale can be easily incorporated into routine clinical practice when treating for anxiety. Mark Zimmerman, MD director of outpatient psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital and his colleagues created this new scale called CUXOS (Clinically Useful Anxiety Outcome Scale test”. 1000 outpatients completed the test in less than 1.5 minutes and each CUXOS could be scored in less than 15 seconds. This test has also been found to be a good valuation of symptom change. As Zimmerman says, “If the optimal delivery of mental health treatment ultimately depends on examining outcome, then precise, reliable, valid, informative, and user-friendly measurement is critical to evaluating the quality and efficiency of care in clinical practice.” This new scale is a valid test to measure anxiety in patients.