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Visual Analog Mood Scales

Robert A. Stern, PhD

Assesses internal mood states in neurologically impaired adults in medical and psychiatric settings
Paper and pencil
Age range:
18 years to 94 years
5 minutes
Qualification level:
A degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in psychology, counseling, speech-language pathology, or a closely related field plus satisfactory completion of coursework in test interpretation, psychometrics and measurement theory, educational statistics, or a closely related area; or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests. Close

The VAMS is a reliable and valid measure of eight specific mood states: Afraid, Confused, Sad, Angry, Energetic, Tired, Happy, and Tense. This simple, brief test places minimal cognitive or linguistic demands on the respondent and is appropriate for neurologically impaired individuals or those who are unable to complete more verbally or cognitively demanding instruments.

Because of its standardized approach and the existing normative data from 425 healthy adults and 290 psychiatric inpatients and outpatients, the VAMS can be used for a variety of applications, including repeated assessment of mood states to monitor treatment efficacy, screening for mood disorder in primary care settings, and screening for mood disorder in patients with neurologic illness.

Test materials include the Professional Manual, the VAMS Response Booklet, and a metric ruler. A pen or pencil is also required for administration. The scales have a "neutral" schematic face (and accompanying word) at the top of a 100 mm vertical line and a specific "mood" face (and word) at the bottom of the line. Respondents indicate the point along the vertical line that best describes how they are currently feeling. The score for each mood ranges from 0 to 100, with 100 representing a maximal level of that mood and zero representing a minimal level (or absence) of that mood. The Response Booklet includes instructions to the respondent, the eight mood scales, and a profile for plotting the T scores for each of the eight scales.

The Professional Manual provides information about the development, administration, and scoring of the VAMS; guidelines for interpretation; normative data; summaries of reliability and validity studies; and T-score conversion tables by age and gender.