by Robert A. Stern, PhD
Purpose: Assess internal mood states in neurologically impaired adults ages 18-94 years in medical and psychiatric settings
Age: 18 through to 94 yrs
Admin: Individual or group
Time: 5 minutes
Qualification Level: A (Psychologist)
The VAMS are reliable and valid measures of eight specific mood states: Afraid, Confused, Sad, Angry, Energetic, Tired, Happy, and Tense. These simple, brief scales place minimal cognitive or linguistic demands on the respondent and are appropriate for neurologically impaired individuals or those who are unable to complete more verbally or cognitively demanding instruments (ages 18-94 years). 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.
Because of their standardised approach and the existing normative data from 425 healthy adults as well as from 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. Respondents indicate the point along the vertical line that best describes how they are currently feeling. The score for each mood ranges from 0-100, 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.