Document Type


Publication Date



Catherine A. Marco


The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and patient age in emergency department patients. The GAD-7 screening tool was used in an urban ED setting to survey patients about their anxiety, with a score of 8 or higher suggesting a diagnosis of GAD. Eligible participants included ED patients over the age of 18 with a painful condition ranging from 1-10 on the verbal numeric rating pain scale (VNRS). Participants were excluded if they were in distress and/or did not speak English. Of the 320 patients surveyed, the mean patient age was determined to be 47 years old. The average patient age who did not meet criteria for GAD was 50 years old and those who did meet criteria were on average 45.1 years old, at a student t-test p-value of 0.02. The correlation coefficient between age and total GAD-7 score was determined to be -0.14, at a Spearman p-value of 0.01. The results demonstrate a statistically significant inverse relationship between patient age and GAD-7 score in the ED setting.