The DASS, Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales is a test used to measure negative emotional states of depression, anxiety and tension/stress.
Developed by researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the test involves 42 parts (or 21 for the shorter version) each reflecting a negative emotional symptom.
What does the test actually involve?
The test presents respondents with statements that they are asked to answer on a scale of 0 to 3 with the below scale:
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
Questions are simple and easy to interpret, including everyday situations. For example;
“I find it hard to wind down”, or
“I found myself getting upset by quite trivial things”
While everyone can take the test, it is recommended that the results be interpreted by experienced psychologists or individuals with relative qualifications.
So, how can you actually use the test and it’s results?
At Mood Active, we frequently use the DASS as a form of pre and post assessment, for our 8 week program.
Mark’s Story and DASS assessment
Mark joined Mood Active in December of 2017 after being referred by his psychologist. In the beginning he weighed over 124 kg and was leading a very reclusive life, struggling to even convince himself to turn up to classes.
With the support of the program and Cam our head Cardio Tennis trainer, Mark maintained regular exercise and witnessed improvements in his mental health – he even lost an incredible 8 kgs during the program!
Mark took part in the DASS assessment before and after the 8 week program, where he was regularly involved in Cardio Tennis classes. Following the program, Mark’s depression, anxiety and stress levels improved significantly to fall within normal population range.
Not only has Mark’s physical health improved but also various aspects of his mental and social well-being.
“Overall I attribute increased confidence and work activity, weight loss, higher motivation, increased social activity (could still improve a lot) to Mood Active,” Mark said.
“Thank you to everyone involved for assisting me at a time that I most definitely needed it! It enabled me to climb out of a very deep hole.”
Mark continues on with us casually and in particular tends to do our cardio tennis classes.