DASS - Self-Reporting Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales in one Questionnaire


The DASS is a set of three self-report scales designed to measure the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress. The DASS was constructed not merely as another set of scales to measure conventionally defined emotional states, but to further the process of defining, understanding, and measuring the ubiquitous and clinically significant emotional states usually described as depression, anxiety and stress. The DASS should thus meet the requirements of both researchers and scientist-professional clinicians.

Each of the three DASS scales contains 14 items, divided into subscales of 2-5 items with similar content. The Depression scale assesses dysphoria, hopelessness, devaluation of life, self-deprecation, lack of interest/involvement, anhedonia, and inertia. The Anxiety scale assesses autonomic arousal, skeletal muscle effects, situational anxiety, and subjective experience of anxious affect. The Stress scale is sensitive to levels of chronic non-specific arousal. It assesses difficulty relaxing, nervous arousal, and being easily upset/agitated, irritable/over-reactive and impatient. Subjects are asked to use 4-point severity/frequency scales to rate the extent to which they have experienced each state over the past week. Scores for Depression, Anxiety and Stress are calculated by summing the scores for the relevant items.

As the scales of the DASS have been shown to have high internal consistency and to yield meaningful discriminations in a variety of settings, the scales should meet the needs of both researchers and clinicians who wish to measure current state or change in state over time (e.g., in the course of treatment) on the three dimensions of depression, anxiety and stress.


Please read each statement and circle a number 0, 1, 2 or 3, which indicates how much the statement applied to you over the past week.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Do not spend too much time on any statement.

The rating scale is as follows:
0 - Did not apply to me at all
1 - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time
2 - Applied to me to a considerable degree, or a good part of time
3 - Applied to me very much, or most of the time


1              I found myself getting upset by quite trivial things
2              I was aware of dryness of my mouth
3              I could not seem to experience any positive feeling at all
4              I experienced breathing difficulty (e.g., excessively rapid breathing, breathlessness in the absence of physical exertion)
5              I just could not seem to get going
6              I tended to over-react to situations
7              I had a feeling of shakiness (e.g., legs going to give way)
8              I found it difficult to relax
9              I found myself in situations that made me so anxious I was most relieved when they ended
10           I felt that I had nothing to look forward to
11           I found myself getting upset rather easily
12           I felt that I was using a lot of nervous energy
13           I felt sad and depressed
14           I found myself getting impatient when I was delayed in any way (e.g., lifts, traffic lights, being kept waiting)
15           I had a feeling of faintness
16           I felt that I had lost interest in just about everything
17           I felt I was not worth much as a person
18           I felt that I was rather touchy
19           I perspired noticeably (e.g., hands sweaty) in the absence of high temperatures or physical exertion
20           I felt scared without any good reason
21           I felt that life was not worthwhile
22           I found it hard to wind down
23           I had difficulty in swallowing
24           I could not seem to get any enjoyment out of the things I did
25           I was aware of the action of my heart in the absence of physical exertion (e.g., sense of heart rate increase, heart missing a beat)
26           I felt downhearted and blue
27           I found that I was very irritable
28           I felt I was close to panic
29           I found it hard to calm down after something upset me
30           I feared that I would be "thrown" by some trivial but unfamiliar task
31           I was unable to become enthusiastic about anything
32           I found it difficult to tolerate interruptions to what I was doing
33           I was in a state of nervous tension
34           I felt I was pretty worthless
35           I was intolerant of anything that kept me from getting on with what I was doing
36           I felt terrified
37           I could see nothing in the future to be hopeful about
38           I felt that life was meaningless
39           I found myself getting agitated
40           I was worried about situations in which I might panic and make a fool of myself
41           I experienced trembling (e.g., in the hands)
42           I found it difficult to work up the initiative to do things


Scores of Depression, Anxiety and Stress are calculated by summing the scores for the relevant items.
* The depression scale items are 3, 5, 10, 13, 16, 17, 21, 24, 26, 31, 34, 37, 38, 42.
* The anxiety scale items are 2, 4, 7, 9, 15, 19, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, 36, 40, 41.
* The stress scale items are 1, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 18, 22, 27, 29, 32, 33, 35, 39.

After calculation scores for each of the scales, evaluate the conditions severity based on the rating interpretation below.  

Depression Scale
Normal---------------------0 – 9
Mild Depression----------10 – 13
Moderate Depression-----14 – 20
Severe Depression--------21 – 27
Extremely Severe---------28+

Anxiety Scale
Normal----------------------0 - 7
Mild Anxiety---------------8 – 9
Moderate Anxiety---------10 – 14
Severe Anxiety------------15 – 19
Extremely Severe---------20+

Stress Scale
Normal---------------------0 – 14
Mild Stress----------------15 – 18
Moderate Stress----------19 – 25
Severe Stress-------------26 – 33
Extremely Severe--------34+

Characteristics of high scorers on each DASS scale

Depression scale:
* self-disparaging
* dispirited, gloomy, blue
* convinced that life has no meaning or value
* pessimistic about the future
* unable to experience enjoyment or satisfaction
* unable to become interested or involved
* slow, lacking in initiative

Anxiety scale:
* apprehensive, panicky
* trembly, shaky
* aware of dryness of the mouth, breathing difficulties, pounding of the heart, sweatiness of the palms
* worried about performance and possible loss of control

Stress scale
* over-aroused, tense
* unable to relax
* touchy, easily upset
* irritable
* easily startled
* nervy, jumpy, fidgety
* intolerant of interruption or delay

Sources and Additional Information:


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