RESEARCH ARTICLE

Psychometric Properties and Factor Structure of the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale among Korean University Students during COVID-19

The Open Psychology Journal 01 Feb 2024 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118743501268244231108104216

Abstract

Background

The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) is a 14-item instrument that is extensively used in clinical and epidemiological studies to determine the presence of anxiety symptoms. Despite the widespread application of the HAM-A in research, it remains unclear whether the instrument’s construct is best represented as uni- or multidimensional. This study aimed to assess the reliability and construct validity of the Korean version of the HAM-A through its factor structure.

Methods

Accordingly, a cross-sectional design was employed to conduct an online survey with 252 university students enrolled in an undergraduate degree program for 4 years in South Korea during the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were employed to identify the two-factorial structure of the instrument, i.e., psychic/psychological and somatic.

Results

The results revealed that the reliability and item characteristics were favorable. Confirmatory factor analyses identified a two-factorial structure of psychic/psychological and somatic with a moderate correlation between the two latent constructs, thus suggesting a single overarching construct of anxiety.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that the Korean version of HAM-A was found to be a valid and reliable instrument that can be employed to screen Korean university students for anxiety.

Keywords: Anxiety, COVID-19, Factor analysis, The hamilton anxiety rating scale, Students, CFAs.
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