Validation of the Short-Form Esophageal Hypervigilance and Anxiety Scale

Tiffany H. Taft*, Livia Guadagnoli, Dustin A. Carlson, Walter Kou, Laurie Keefer, John Pandolfino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Esophageal hypervigilance and anxiety are emerging as important drivers of dysphagia symptoms and reduced quality of life across esophageal diagnoses. The esophageal hypervigilance and anxiety scale (EHAS) is a validated measure of these cognitive-affective processes. However, its length may preclude it from use in clinical practice. We aimed to create a short form version of the EHAS using established psychometric practices. Methods: A retrospective review of a registry of patients who visited a university-based esophageal motility clinic for diagnostic testing was conducted. Patients were included if they completed the 15-item EHAS and questionnaires assessing dysphagia severity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at the time of motility testing. Principle components factor analysis identified items for possible removal. Tests for reliability and concurrent validity were performed on the full EHAS and short-form version (EHAS-7). Results: 3,976 adult patients with confirmed esophageal disease were included: 30% with achalasia or EGJOO, 13% with EoE, 13% with GERD, 39% normal motility. Eight items were removed from the scale based on a factor loading of > 0.70, resulting in a single scale 7-item EHAS-7 scored from 0 to 28. The EHAS-7 demonstrated excellent internal consistency (α = 0.91) and split-half reliability (0.88) as was found in the full EHAS in the current study and prior validation. Concurrent validity existed between the EHAS-7 and measures of dysphagia (r = 0.33) and HRQOL (r = –0.73, both P < .001). Conclusions: The EHAS-7 is a 7-item scale to assess esophageal hypervigilance and symptom-specific anxiety that performs as well as the original 15-item version. Shorter questionnaires allow for implementation in clinical practice. The EHAS-7 is a useful tool for clinicians to quickly assess how hypervigilance and anxiety may be contributing to their patients’ clinical presentations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e64-e73
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Esophageal Disease
  • Hypervigilance
  • Symptom-Specific Anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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