Does the personal questionnaire provided a more sensitive measure of cardiac surgery related-anxiety than a standard pencil-and-paper checklist?
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Fifty-five men undergoing cardiac bypass surgery completed the state measure of Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) and an anxiety-investigating personal questionnaire (PQ) using the Shapiro method. Of the 55 men tested at baseline, 29 were seen immediately before surgery and 51 post-operatively; 48 were followed-up 8 weeks later. PQs were not more sensitive to anxiety than the STAI-S; when made comparable, both were similar in their sensitivity to anxiety. The psychometric properties of the PQ and the STAI-S were very similar. PQ reliability was negatively correlated with lower verbal ability and higher trait anxiety, suggesting these characteristics affect PQ responses. PQ techniques are psychometrically rigorous, but provide no advantage in measurement. Concurrent personality assessment at the first and final test sessions using the revised, abridged Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQR-A) found all four subscales of the measure highly reliable over time (minimum test-retest r = 0.59); the only subscale to show a significant change was a slight reduction in self-reported Psychoticism at follow-up. Despite a significant reduction in state anxiety after life-transforming, radically health-improving cardiac bypass surgery, the major traits of personality remained essentially stable. © 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.