OBJECTIVES: A reliable questionnaire designed to measure electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)-related anxiety is currently not available. We report the development and evaluation of the ECT-Related Anxiety Questionnaire (ERAQ), a questionnaire that measures anxiety with respect to ECT in clinical practice. METHODS: Patients 18 years or older who were about to start with or were having an ECT course were asked to complete a self-designed 17-item ECT-related anxiety questionnaire. We investigated the psychometric properties of the ERAQ through the use of an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and Item Response Theory analysis. RESULTS: One hundred eighty-three patients were included. From the exploratory factor analysis, we conclude that the scale is unidimensional. The confirmatory factor analysis model did not fit well to the data. The Item Response Theory analysis showed that the slope estimates ranged from 1.23 to 2.95 and that location parameters reflected a sizable underlying anxiety for ECT. CONCLUSIONS: The ERAQ is a questionnaire that assesses ECT-related anxiety. It offers a measure of global severity and differentiates between various topics of anxiety. The ERAQ thus informs the clinician about the specific aspects of an ECT course that could trigger a patient's anxiety and can guide clinicians in how to discuss ECT-related anxieties with patients.
- Item Response Theory