Clinical Models And Evaluation Measures In The Study Of Experimental Anxiety

  • Gabriel Chaves Neto
  • João Euclides Fernandes Braga
  • Flavia Maiele Pedrosa Trajano
  • Mateus Feitosa Alves
  • Laysa Karen Soares de Lima
  • Poliana Rafaela dos Santos Araújo
  • Humberto Hugo Nunes de Andrade
  • Anna Alice Figueiredo de Almeida
  • Reinaldo Nóbrega de Almeida
  • Margareth de Fátima Formiga Melo Diniz


Objectives: the following review aims to present accumulated evidence in the literature around the main human models for induction of anxiety and the measures frequently used for its evaluation.

Method: It was made a bibliographic research having as source of research articles listed by Pubmed and Medline databases and research in specific books which have investigated the main human models for experimental anxiety induction and the measurements frequently used for its evaluation.

Discussion: Both the psychological and chemical models for anxiety induction present ethical limits and are constituted of fundamental links between basic research and therapeutic tests done with the patients. The psychological and/or physiological measures for evaluating experimentally produced anxiety reflect body changes that express the level of the elicited anxiety.

Conclusion: The use of clinical models and evaluation measures in the study of experimental anxiety makes possible, under the scientific research, understanding the neurobiological substrate of anxiety in its pathological manifestation, beyond evaluating drugs with anxyolitic potential.


1. Bernik MA. Ansiedade normal e patológica. In: Benzodiazepínicos: quatro décadas de experiência. São Paulo: EDUSP, 1999. p. 59-67.

2. Spielberger C. Tensão e ansiedade. São Paulo: Harper & Row do Brasil, 1979.

3. Giuntini PB. Avaliação do estado de ansiedade em pacientes submetidos a cirurgias eletivas sob regime ambulatorial ou sob regime de internação. [Tese de Doutorado] Ribeirão Preto: Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto/USP, 2006. Available from:

4. Mackenzie JW. Daycase anaesthesia and anxiety. A study of anxiety profiles amongst patients attending a Day Bad Unit. Anaesth. 1989; 44 (5):437-440.

5. Andrade LHSG, Gorenstein C. Aspectos gerais das escalas de avaliação de ansiedade. Rev Psiq Clin. 1998; 25 (6): 285-290.

6. Cade NV. O modelo cognitivo comportamental em grupo e seus efeitos sobre as estratégias de enfrentamento, os estados emocionais e a pressão arterial de mulheres hipertensas. [Tese de Doutorado]. São Paulo: Escola de Enfermagem da USP, 2002.

7. Guimarães FS, Zuardi AW, HETEM, LAB. Ansiedade Experimental Humana. In: HETEM, LAB, Graeff FG, editors. Transtornos de Ansiedade. São Paulo: Atheneu; 2004. p. 75-104.

8. Graeff FG. Ansiedade experimental humana. Rev Psi Clin. 2007; 34(5): 251-253. Available from:

9. Guimarães FS. Escalas analógicas na avaliação de estados subjetivos. Rev Psi Clin. 1998; 25(5): 217-222.

10. Graeff FG, Parente A, Del-Bem CM, Guimarães FS. Pharmachology of human experimental. Braz J Med Biol Res. 2003; 36: 421-432. Available from:

11. Graeff FG, Hetem LAB. Transtornos da Ansiedade. São Paulo: Atheneu; 2004.

12. Guimarães FS, Hellewell J, Hensman R, Wang M, Deakin JFW. Characterization of a psychophysiological model of classical fear conditioning in healthy volunteers: influence of gender, instruction, personality and placebo. Psychopharmacol. 1991; 104:231-236.
13. Brignell CM, Curran HV. Drugs, sweat, and fears: a comparison of the effects of diazepam and methylphenidate on fear conditioning. Psychopharmacol (Berl). 2006; 186(4):504-16. Available from:
14. Neumann DL, Waters AM, Westbury HR. The use of an unpleasant sound as the unconditional stimulus in aversive Pavlovian conditioning experiments that involve children and adolescent participants. Behav Res Methods. 2008; 40(2):622-5. Available from:
15. Guimarães FS, Zuardi AW, Graeff FG. Effect of chlormipramine and maprotiline on experimental anxiety in humans. J Psychopharmacol. 1987; 1: 184-192.

16. Zuardi AW, Cosme RA, Graeff F, Guimarães FS. Effects of ipsapirone and cannabidiol on humans experimental anxiety. J Psychopharmacol. 1993; 7:82-88.

17. Goes TC, Antunes FD, Alves PB, Teixeira-Silva F. Effect of Sweet Orange Aroma on Experimental Anxiety in Humans. J Altern Complement Med. 2012; 18(8):798–804. Available from:

18. Diaper A, Papadopoulos A, Rich AS, Dawson GR, Dourish CT, Nutt DJ, et al. The effect of a clinically effective and non-effective dose of lorazepam on 7 . 5 % CO 2 -induced anxiety. 2012;(October):540–8.

19. Ainsworth B, Marshall JE, Meron D, Baldwin DS, Garner M, Chadwick P, et al. Evaluating psychological interventions in a novel experimental human model of anxiety. 2015;63:117–22. Available from:

20. Nehlig, Astrid. Effects of coffee/caffeine on brain health and disease: What should I tell my patients? Pract Neurol 2016;16:2 89-95 Published Online First: 16 December 2015.21. Keedwell P, Snaith RP. What do anxiety scales Measure? Acta Psych Scand. 1996; 93: 117-180.

21. Nutt DJ. The pharmacology of human anxiety. Pharmac Ther. 1990; 47:233-266.

22. Germine M, Goddard AW, Woods SW, Charney DS, Heninger GR. Anger and anxiety responses to m-Chlorophenylpiperazine in generalized anxiety disorder. Biol Psychiatry.1992; 32:457-461.

23. Charney DS, Goodman WK, Prince LH, Woods SW, Rasmussen SA, Heninger GR. Serotonin function obsessive-compulsive disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988; 45:177-85.

24. Almeida AAF. Alterações psicofisiológicas e vocais em indivíduos submetidos ao teste de simulação de falar em público [Tese de Doutorado] São Paulo: Universidade Federal de São Paulo, 2009, 109p.

25. Biaggio AMB, Natalício L. Manual para o Inventário de Ansiedade Traço-Estado (IDATE). Rio de Janeiro: Centro Editor de Psicologia Aplicada (CEPA), 1979.

26. Bernik MA, Gorenstein C, Gentil V. Flumazenil precipitated withdrawal in chronic users of low doses of diazepam. J Psychopharmacol. 1991; 5:215-219.

27. Sluis RA, Boschen MJ. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Fear of evaluation in social anxiety : Mediation of attentional bias to human faces. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry [Internet]. 2014; 45(4):475–83. Available from:
28. Braga JEF, Chaves Neto G, Lima AB, Oliveira RQ, Alves RS, Farias JA. Jogos cooperativos e relaxamento respiratório : efeito sobre craving e ansiedade. 2016;22:414–8. Available from:
How to Cite
CHAVES NETO, Gabriel et al. Clinical Models And Evaluation Measures In The Study Of Experimental Anxiety. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 10, feb. 2017. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 july 2017. doi:

Most read articles by the same author(s)