The Trimodal Anxiety Questionnaire (Taq): A Validation Study on Communities from Western Romania

Article excerpt

Abstract

The objectives of our study were to verify the Romanian translation of the TAQ, to determine its psychometric qualities in a sample of participants from Western Romania, and to compare them with data from similar researches. The TAQ measures three key anxiety components: somatic, cognitive and behavioural. The questionnaire's 36 items were derived from previous research, from different widely utilised measurement instruments known for their psychometric properties. The TAQ was administered along with other psychological tests, the Current Thoughts Scale (CTS), the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS), the McGill Pain Questionnaire, (McGill PQ-S) and the Dental Fear Survey (DFS). The validation of these instruments on the Romanian population represents a part from a PhD research project regarding anxiety and dental fear management. We consider that the results advanced in the validation study support the TAQ's psychometric qualities, and thus the TAQ can be seen as a useful instrument, with high applicable potential.

Keywords: assessment, trimodal anxiety, factor analysis, correlations, psychometrics

Introduction

Seen as the shadow of intelligence and the spectre of death, anxiety has both a protective and a stimulating meaning, as well as destructive and self- destructive consequences (Barlow, 2004). Based on recent studies, it is estimated that one in four adults suffers from an anxiety disorder throughout his lifetime. Anxiety disorders interfere with all aspects of life's quality, disrupt work capacity, relationship abilities, building and maintaining interpersonal relationships; they imply higher social and economic costs, lead to solitude, and generally bring suffering to those who experience them, as well as to their families and close friends. Furthermore, anxiety disorders are mostly linked to other mental disorders: depressive disorders, substance abuse disorders, somatoform disorders or eating disorders. The comorbidity of anxiety disorders leads to complicated, hidden, and hard to identify aspects of anxiety (Antony, Orsillo, & Roemer, 2002).

Research suggests that pain related anxiety can become a vulnerability factor for many other emotional disorders (Asmundson & Carleton, 2005). More recent data show that pain related anxiety indicates comparable levels in anxiety disorders and depressive disorders (Asmundson & Carleton, 2008; Carleton, Abrams, Asmundson, Antony, & McCabe, 2009).

Anxiety disorders have a high prevalence and indicate severe functioning disturbances in multiple areas. However, they are often incorrectly diagnosed and treated, or even undiagnosed. Moreover, although recent synthesis data regarding anxiety and anxiety disorders, diagnosis and classification problems and controversies (Barlow, 2004; Antony & Stein, 2009; McKay, Abramowitz, Taylor, & Asmundson, 2009; Stein, Hollander, & Rothbaum, 2009) or data that include chapters regarding these disorders are available (Barlow, 2008; Antony & Barlow, 2010), and although many anxiety evaluation screening and other strategies have been developed and validated (Antony & Barlow, 2010), and papers signed by prestigious specialists, describing anxiety evaluation instruments have been published (Antony, Orsillo, & Roemer, 2002; Fisher & Corcoran, 2007), many practitioners are not familiar with them and do not apply them in the anxiety evaluation process.

Some of the evaluation instruments like the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory STAI (Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lechene, 1970) offer a general idea regarding the state or trait anxiety of the individual. Spielberger's model (1966) is the most known anxiety classification system, and the STAI is considered the most used instrument in anxiety researchers, especially in the non-clinical segment (as cited in Cioara, 2010).

Differentiating between anxiety's somatic and cognitive dimensions as state or trait represents a challenge for researchers who assert the distinction's validity between somatic and cognitive anxiety both as state, and as trait (Ree, French, MacLeod, & Locke, 2008). …