Abstract : Background:
The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) is a questionnaire widely used for detecting
anxiety and depressive disorders. It is used extensively in France, but has never been the subject of a full study in a
population at work. The objectives of this study were to present some psychometric properties of the HADS on a
large sample of French employees.
The HADS questionnaire was given to salaried employees at 19 major French companies as part of their
biennial occupational medical examination. In 2011, 20992 employees filled in the questionnaire. HADS
was studied first by exploratory, then confirmatory factorial analyses.
The model selected was the original two-factor structure. The two subscales showed good internal
consistency. Women scored higher than the men for anxiety and depression; the scores increased with age;
engineers and managers had lower average scores than other occupational status (blue- or white-collar workers
The results of the analyses are consistent with those in literature relating to other populations studied
in other countries. The HADS questionnaire is pertinent for detecting symptoms of anxiety and depression in a
population of people at work.