To translate the Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS) to Arabic for use in elderly patients in Lebanon, check its validity, reproducibility and responsiveness to the adapted version of the questionnaires and assess the risk factors associated with anxiety in these Lebanese geriatrics.
This case-control study was conducted between June and August 2016 on 500 patients.
For the GAS total score, the internal consistency was excellent (alpha = 0.908). The reliabilities of the GAS subscale scores were as follows: Cognitive (alpha = 0.756); Somatic (alpha = 0.810); Affective (alpha = 0.845). The three subscales of the GAS were highly intercorrelated, with r varying from 0.523 to 0.816 (p < 0.001). Mild and severe stress, as showed by the Beirut Distress Scale (BDS) score, would significantly increase the total GAS score (p < 0.001, Beta = 5.14, CI 3.817-6.464 and p < 0.001, Beta = 6.847 and CI 5.790-7.903 respectively). Mild and severe depression, as showed by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) score, being divorced or widowed as compared to being single, would significantly increase the total GAS score (p < 0.001, Beta = 7.448, CI 4.222‑10.675 and p < 0.001, Beta = 11.889, CI 8.172-15.606; p = 0.001, Beta = 6.127, CI 2.647-9.607 and p = 0.026, Beta = 3.027, CI 0.369-5.685 respectively). The complementary, secondary and university levels of education would increase the total GAS score as compared to illiteracy (p = 0.018, Beta = 3.030, CI 0.531-5.528; p < 0.001, Beta = 5.606, CI 2.751-8.460 and p < 0.001, Beta = 12.014, CI 8.922-15.107 respectively). In opposite, age significantly lowered the total GAS score (p = 0.001, Beta = -0.159, CI -0.248‑0.070).
These preliminary results suggest that the Arabic version of the GAS has promising psychometric properties. On the basis of these findings, periodic screening for anxiety, depression, nutritional status and stress is required among geriatric people living in Lebanon.