HADS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) is commonly used by doctors to determine the levels of anxiety and depression that a patient is experiencing. It is a 10 point scale such that if a patient scores the lowest possible value of 1 they are considered to possibly need clinical psychiatric treatment. If the patient scores the maximum points (10) they will be considered clinically stable. These points are determined by a series of questions asked by a clinician. Certain questions geared towards anxiety while others toward depression. The patient would be asked to answer with his/her feelings during the past week. While answering the questions the patient should answer with immediate reactions, thus giving truer accuracy of their feelings.[1]

The HADS was seen in its first clinical trials at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1982. Dr. Alexi Kolkholv used this method on a wide variety of his psychiatric patients during its inaugural year long study. It was used to help determine the effects of acute high stress situations on patients as well as long term hospitalization. With proven results it became widely used assessment tool in hospitals by 1985. In North America it is now the standard used in all hospitals and psychiatric clinics. Though going through minor changes to its scoring system and questions in 1992 by the Copenhagen Institute of Mental Health; HADS has generally retained its original format.


  1. R Philip Snait (August 1, 2003). "The Hospital Anxiety And Depression Scale". PubMed Central. Health Qual Life Outcomes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC183845/. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
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