Does the personal questionnaire provide a more sensitive measure of pre-operative anxiety than a standard pencil-and-paper checklist?
thesisposted on 19.11.2015, 08:57 by Vincent. Egan
The current study examined the dynamics of anxiety in men before and after cardiac surgery using a standard anxiety inventory (the STAI-S) and Shapiro's personal questionnaire (PQ) technique. Fifty-five men were assessed, of whom 29 were tested immediately before surgery, and 51 post-operatively. The first hypothesis, that the PQ would be more sensitive than the STAI-S to the changing context of the subject as they pass through a medical procedure was not supported; when made comparable, both measures were essentially the same in their sensitivity to anxious states. The second hypothesis addressed the internal and external reliabilities and validity of the PQ in relation to the STAI-S, and established that PQ techniques are equivalent in reliability, validity, and consistency to a standard psychometric instruments. The third hypothesis examined the influence of trait neuroticism (N) on the state measures of anxiety; due to doubts about the quality of the N measure, N was replaced by the trait score of the STAI. This found that individuals higher in trait anxiety sustained their higher state anxiety over time, but that trait anxiety was not in interaction with other variables. Trait anxiety was not therefore, a source of complex confounding. The fourth and final hypothesis, that lower verbal ability may confound the more complex PQ measure of anxiety was not supported: there was no significant correlation between PQ and NART scores. However, the reliability of the PQ was negatively related to lower verbal ability and higher trait anxiety, suggesting that low-verbal, high trait anxiety individuals were less consistent in their PQ responses. The study thus concludes that PQ techniques are as psychometrically rigorous as more standard measures, but do not provide a differential advantage in sensitivity to changes in mood.