Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety

Type of Tool: Diagnostic
Repeatability: Repeatable by Clinician’s Judgment
Description: The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale is designed to quantify the severity of anxiety symptoms and to assess the response to therapeutic interventions. It is a 14-item, clinician-administered instrument that measures current anxiety symptoms. The scales’ items measure: anxious mood, tension, fears, insomnia, intellectual impairment, depressed mood, somatic muscular and sensory complaints, cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms, genitourinary symptoms, autonomic symptoms, and patient’s behavior at interview. 

How to Use

The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) is a widely used and well-validated tool for measuring the severity of a patient’s anxiety. It should be administered by an experienced clinician.

The major value of HAM-A is to assess the patient’s response to a course of treatment, rather than as a diagnostic or screening tool. By administering the scale serially, a clinician can document the results of drug treatment or psychotherapy. 


How to Score

The HAM-A probes 14 parameters and takes 15-20 minutes to complete the interview and score the results. Each item is scored on a 5-point scale, ranging from 0=not present to 4=severe.

Hamilton, M. (1959). The assessment of anxiety states by rating. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 32:50–55.

Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety


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