Validation of the social interaction anxiety scale in scleroderma: A scleroderma patientcentered intervention network cohort study

Shadi Gholizadeh, Linda Kwakkenbos, Marie Eve Carrier, Sarah D. Mills, Rina S. Fox, Lisa R. Jewett, Karen Gottesman, Scott Roesch, Brett D. Thombs, Vanessa L. Malcarne, Murray Baron, Susan J. Bartlett, Dan Furst, Frank Van Den Hoogen, Maureen D. Mayes, Luc Mouthon, Warren R. Nielson, Serge Poiraudeau, Robert Riggs, Maureen SauveFredrick Wigley, Shervin Assassi, Isabelle Boutron, Angela Costa Maia, Ghassan El-Baalbaki, Carolyn Ells, Cornelia Van Den Ende, Kim Fligelstone, Catherine Fortune, Tracy Frech, Dominique Godard, Daphna Harel, Marie Hudson, Ann Impens, Yeona Jang, Sindhu R. Johnson, Ann Tyrell Kennedy, Maggie Larche, Catarina Leite, Carlo Marra, Karen Nielsen, Janet Pope, Alexandra Portales, Tatiana Sofia Rodriguez Reyna, Anne A. Schouffoer, Russell J. Steele, Maria E. Suarez-Almazor, Joep Welling, Durhane Wong-Rieger, Alexandra Albert, Guylaine Arsenault, Lyne Bissonnette, Gilles Boire, Alessandra Bruns, Patricia Carreira, Lorinda Chung, Pierre Dagenais, Christopher Denton, Robyn Domsic, James V. Dunne, Paul Fortin, Anna Gill, Jessica Gordon, Genevieve Gyger, Ariane L. Herrick, Monique Hinchcliff, Alena Ikic, Niall Jones, Artur Jose De B. Fernandes, Suzanne Kafaja, Nader Khalidi, Benjamin Korman, Patrick Liang, Joanne Manning, Ariel Masetto, David Robinson, Sophie Roux, Doug Smith, Robert Spiera, Virginia Steen, Evelyn Sutton, Carter Thorne, John Varga, Pearce Wilcox, Vanessa C. Delisle, Claire Fedoruk, Brooke Levis, Mia R. Pepin, Jennifer Persmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Individuals with visible differences due to medical conditions, such as systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma), have reported difficulty navigating social situations because of issues such as staring, invasive questions, and rude comments. Fears or anxiety linked to situations in which a person interacts with others is known as social interaction anxiety. However, there exists no validated measurement tool to examine social interaction anxiety in rheumatologic conditions. Methods: The present study examines the reliability (internal consistency) and validity (structural and convergent) of the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale-6 (SIAS-6) in a sample of 802 individuals with SSc, and compares these psychometric properties across limited and diffuse subtypes of the disease. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the factor structure of the SIAS-6 in patients with both limited and diffuse SSc. Results: A one-factor structure was found to fit well for individuals with SSc with both limited and diffuse disease. The measure demonstrated strong internal consistency reliability and convergent validity with relevant measures in expected magnitudes and directions. Conclusions: The SIAS-6 is a psychometrically robust measure that can confidently be used in SSc populations to examine social interaction anxiety. Moreover, scores can meaningfully be compared between patients with limited and diffuse disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Scleroderma and Related Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Psychometric
  • Psychosocial
  • Scleroderma
  • Social anxiety
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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