Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS) Italian version: the results

An investigation aimed at profiling a first photograph of the psychophysiological conditions of Italians after exiting the “phase 1” of the emergency, promoted by the independent research group Brainfactor Research.


Advertising message 130 subjects across Italy participated in the survey, filling out an agile online questionnaire on the state of health in the last two weeks.

The questionnaire used is the Italian version (edited by Marco Mozzoni and Elena Franzot) of the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), the first screening test for “dysfunctional anxiety associated with the Covid-19 crisis”, recently developed by the Department of Psychology of the Newport University, in the USA. The scores attributed to the 5 items that make up the scale vary according to the frequency of the symptom, from 0 (never) to 4 (almost every day). The diagnostic cut-off is 9.

Over 80% of the sample reported having suffered, in the last two weeks, from at least one anxiety disorder related to the pandemic, ie states of confusion, feeling of being “paralyzed” or “stuck”, sleep disturbances, loss appetite, nausea or stomach discomfort, if placed in contact with thoughts or news related to the coronavirus. 23% said they experienced all five symptoms together, with varying frequency.

Clinical test results show that 22% of the surveyed population (with higher percentages for women, 24%) would have a specific anxiety disorder related to the pandemic, of which the five symptoms detected represent the main factors. The percentage also varies significantly by geographical area, with Central and Southern Italy exceeding the average, obtaining a total of 34%. Compared to the age groups, the most affected by the crisis are the very young: over 39% of the under 20 were in fact “pathological” at the CAS. The indicator gradually decreases with increasing age.

Advertising message The most common symptom is the state of confusion (feeling dazed, confused, weakened), experienced at least once in the period by 77% of the subjects; followed by tonic immobility (feeling “paralyzed” or “blocked”) at 57%, sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep, insomnia) at 56%, abdominal stress (nausea and stomach problems) at 38% and loss appetite (which involved 33% of the census population).