A Brief Measure for Assessing Generalized Anxiety Disorder

We investigated sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and likelihood ratios for a range of cutoff scores of the final scale with respect to the mental health professionals diagnosis

Robert L. Spitzer; Kurt Kroenke; Janet B. W. Williams; Bernd Löwe

2006

Scholarcy highlights

  • Generalized anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders; there is no brief clinical measure for assessing GAD
  • Increasing scores on the scale were strongly associated with multiple domains of functional impairment
  • O NE OF THE MOST COMmon anxiety disorders seen in general medical practice and in the general population is generalized anxiety disorder
  • Whereas depression in clinical settings has generated substantial research, there have been far fewer studies of anxiety. This may be because of the paucity of brief validated measures for anxiety compared with the numerous measures for depression, such as the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire
  • Most patients with high scores had chronic symptoms, which is why the operating characteristics proved good with use of our criterion-standard mental health professionals interviews based on the conventional GAD duration criterion of 6 months
  • The generalized anxiety disorder 7-item scale was developed and validated in primary care, we expect that, like the PHQ-9 depression measure, the GAD-7 will have considerable utility in busy mental health settings and clinical research, which is especially important given the high prevalence and substantial disability associated with GAD
  • This may be because of the paucity of brief validated measures for anxiety compared with the numerous measures for depression, such as the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire. This situation is unfortunate, given the high prevalence of anxiety disorders, as well as their associated disability and the availability of effective treatments, both pharmacological and nonpharmacological

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