Background: Pedestrians injured by motorists and even some motorists injured in car accidents may subsequently develop anxiety when they are pedestrians in urban settings next to roadways with busy traffic. The present study introduces a questionnaire for assessment of such pedestrian anxiety and describes its validation.
Method: A 23 item questionnaire was developed. Its first 13 items evaluate situational anxiety, i.e., the severity of anxiety associated with various urban situations when the pedestrian is near vehicular traffic. The next 4 items (Items 14 to 17) assess other related emotions and also physical reactions. The last 6 items (Items 18 to 23) assess the avoidance of proximity to busy vehicular traffic. Responses of 21 patients with post-accident pedestrian anxiety (8 men and 13 women, aged 15 to 79 years, with the average of 43.2 years, SD=18.1) were compared to responses of 33 normal controls (17 men and 16 women, ages 20 to 78 years, with the average of 49.0 years, SD=17.9).
Results: The patients differed significantly from normal controls (Pearson r=.95) in their scores on the questionnaire, thus indicating good criterion validity. Convergent validity was indicated by its significant correlations with measures of post-accident symptoms in the whiplash spectrum (r=.73), insomnia (r=.72), post-concussive symptoms (r=.52), generalized anxiety (r=.50), depression (r=.38), and pain (r=.37).
Discussion and Conclusions: The Pedestrian Anxiety Questionnaire is meant for use with patients in urban settings with lifestyles near busy roadways. The questionnaire is to provide a standardized assessment tool for behavior therapists.
Keywords: pedestrian anxiety, phobia, psychological assessment, accidents