Depression, anxiety, and stress are all negative feelings. The University of New South Wales in Australia developed a questionnaire to measure all three of them using one questionnaire, known as DASS.

The DASS has 42 items. The DASS-21 has 21 items if you are under time pressure. The DASS-21 scores are multiplied by two so that you can compare the DASS-21 score with the normal DASS. You can find the DASS-21 in the PsyToolkit survey library by clicking here.

Interpretation of DASS scores

You can find the following cutoff values on the DASS web page.

Meaning Depression Anxiety Stress

















Extremely severe




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The DASS website states that the DASS is public domain and can be used electronically but that a reference to the DASS website needs to be included:


This is a simple scale question.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
# See:

scale: frequency
- {score=0} Never
- {score=1} Sometimes
- {score=2} Often
- {score=3} Almost always

l: dass42
t: scale frequency
o: width 60%
q: Please read each statement and indicate how much the statement applied to you
<b>over the past week</b>.<br>
There are no right or wrong answers.<br>
Do not spend too much time on any statement.<br>
The rating scale is as follows:
<li>Did not apply to me at all - NEVER
<li>Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time - SOMETIMES
<li>Applied to me to a considerable degree, or a good part of time - OFTEN
<li>Applied to me very much, or most of the time - ALMOST ALWAYS
- I found myself getting upset by quite trivial things
- I was aware of dryness of my mouth
- I couldn't seem to experience any positive feeling at all
- I experienced breathing difficulty (eg, excessively rapid breathing, breathlessness in the absence of physical exertion)
- I just couldn't seem to get going
- I tended to over-react to situations
- I had a feeling of shakiness (eg, legs going to give way)
- I found it difficult to relax
- I found myself in situations that made me so anxious I was most relieved when they ended
- I felt that I had nothing to look forward to
- I found myself getting upset rather easily
- I felt that I was using a lot of nervous energy
- I felt sad and depressed
- I found myself getting impatient when I was delayed in any way (eg, lifts, traffic lights, being kept waiting)
- I had a feeling of faintness
- I felt that I had lost interest in just about everything
- I felt I wasn't worth much as a person
- I felt that I was rather touchy
- I perspired noticeably (eg, hands sweaty) in the absence of high temperatures or physical exertion
- I felt scared without any good reason
- I felt that life wasn't worthwhile
- I found it hard to wind down
- I had difficulty in swallowing
- I couldn't seem to get any enjoyment out of the things I did
- I was aware of the action of my heart in the absence of physical exertion (eg, sense of heart rate increase, heart missing a beat)
- I felt down-hearted and blue
- I found that I was very irritable
- I felt I was close to panic
- I found it hard to calm down after something upset me
- I feared that I would be "thrown" by some trivial but unfamiliar task
- I was unable to become enthusiastic about anything
- I found it difficult to tolerate interruptions to what I was doing
- I was in a state of nervous tension
- I felt I was pretty worthless
- I was intolerant of anything that kept me from getting on with what I was doing
- I felt terrified
- I could see nothing in the future to be hopeful about
- I felt that life was meaningless
- I found myself getting agitated
- I was worried about situations in which I might panic and make a fool of myself
- I experienced trembling (eg, in the hands)
- I found it difficult to work up the initiative to do things

l: depression
t: set
- sum $dass42.3 $dass42.5 $dass42.10 $dass42.13 $dass42.16 $dass42.17 $dass42.21 $dass42.24 $dass42.26 $dass42.31 $dass42.34 $dass42.37 $dass42.38 $dass42.42

l: anxiety
t: set
- sum $dass42.2 $dass42.4 $dass42.7 $dass42.9 $dass42.15 $dass42.19 $dass42.20 $dass42.23 $dass42.25 $dass42.28 $dass42.30 $dass42.36 $dass42.40 $dass42.41

l: stress
t: set
- sum $dass42.1 $dass42.6 $dass42.8 $dass42.11 $dass42.12 $dass42.14 $dass42.18 $dass42.22 $dass42.27 $dass42.29 $dass42.32 $dass42.33 $dass42.35 $dass42.39

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the DASS scale is as follows:<br>
Depression: {$depression}<br>
Anxiety: {$anxiety}<br>
Stress: {$stress}<br>
Note: Scores on each scale can run from 0 to 56.<br>
Write down this numbers and go back to the survey website to read what they means.


  • Official webpage

  • Lovibond, S.H. & Lovibond, P.F. (1995). Manual for the Depression Anxiety & Stress Scales. (2 Ed.)Sydney: Psychology Foundation.