Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults age 18+ whose period of (a) feeling worried, tense, or anxious (WOR1MO) or (b) worrying more than most people (WORMORE) during the past 12 months (c) had ended (WORSTILL), WORAGONO reports the number of time units associated with the duration of that period.
Interviewers asked, "How many months or years did it [the period of feeling worried, tense, or anxious, or worrying more than most people] go on before it ended?" Responses were recorded in two variables, WORAGONO (number of units) and WORAGOTP (time period). Responses could also be coded as "Volunteered 'All my life/as long as I can remember'" in both WORAGONO and WORAGOTP (IPUMS NHIS codes 96 and 6, respectively).
Related Variables for Screening for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
WORAGONO was part of a series of mental health questions constituting the NHIS version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview - Short Form (CIDI-SF) screening scale for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
According to the Field Representative's Manual for 1999, this set of GAD questions was included "to determine if the Sample Adult has had or still has a period lasting one month or longer when most of the time they felt worried, tense, or anxious in the past 12 months and, if so, how much they worry, if this worry has ended or is still going on and how long, how long it has affected them, how they dealt with these problems, and how much these problems interfered with their life or activities."
WOR1MO and WORMORE comprised a first set of screening questions used to determine whether respondents were asked additional questions about their period of feeling of worried, tense, or anxious or worrying more than most people. WORAGONO was part of a second set of screening questions related to the duration of that period.
For the second set of screening questions, respondents were first asked if their period of feeling worried, tense, or anxious or worrying more than most people had ended or was still going on (WORSTILL). Respondents who indicated in WORSTILL that the period had ended were asked about the duration of the past period of feeling worried, tense, or anxious or worrying more than most people, with responses recorded in WORAGONO (number of units) and WORAGOTP (time period). Respondents who indicated in WORSTILL that the period was still going on or who had an unknown answer in WORSTILL were asked, "How many months or years has it been going on?" Responses were recorded in two variables, WORNO (number of units) and WORTP (time period).
If the respondent's answer to WORAGONO, WORAGOTP, WORNO, or WORTP was "unknown," interviewers asked whether the period had lasted at least 6 months (WOR6MO).
The public use files of the NHIS include two summary recoded variables indicating the duration of the period of feeling worried, tense, or anxious or worrying more than most people, using a single time unit of years. These recoded variables are WORAGOYR (a recode of WORAGONO and WORAGOTP) and WORYR (a recode of WORNO and WORTP).
Respondents who passed the second set of screening questions by reporting that they had a period of feeling worried, tense or anxious or of worrying more than most people that lasted for at least six months were then asked a series of questions about symptoms of GAD. Respondents who reported experiencing at least one physiological symptom of GAD were also asked a series of supplemental questions that inquired about their contact with a medical doctor or other health professional, about their use of medication, drugs, or alcohol, and about how their worry interfered with daily functioning.
The GAD questions contained in the NHIS version of the CIDI-SF can be used to calculate the probability of psychiatric caseness for GAD.
For more information on all the variables associated with the NHIS CIDI-SF screening scale on GAD, and for instructions on how to calculate generalized anxiety disorder scores, see WOR1MO.
- 1999: Sample adults age 18+ who experienced a past period of worry during the past 12 months.
- 1999 : SAMPWEIGHT