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      Validation and Standardization of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screener (GAD-7) in the General Population

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          Abstract

          The 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7) is a practical self-report anxiety questionnaire that proved valid in primary care. However, the GAD-7 was not yet validated in the general population and thus far, normative data are not available. To investigate reliability, construct validity, and factorial validity of the GAD-7 in the general population and to generate normative data. Nationally representative face-to-face household survey conducted in Germany between May 5 and June 8, 2006. Five thousand thirty subjects (53.6% female) with a mean age (SD) of 48.4 (18.0) years. The survey questionnaire included the GAD-7, the 2-item depression module from the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and demographic characteristics. Confirmatory factor analyses substantiated the 1-dimensional structure of the GAD-7 and its factorial invariance for gender and age. Internal consistency was identical across all subgroups (alpha = 0.89). Intercorrelations with the PHQ-2 and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were r = 0.64 (P < 0.001) and r = -0.43 (P < 0.001), respectively. As expected, women had significantly higher mean (SD) GAD-7 anxiety scores compared with men [3.2 (3.5) vs. 2.7 (3.2); P < 0.001]. Normative data for the GAD-7 were generated for both genders and different age levels. Approximately 5% of subjects had GAD-7 scores of 10 or greater, and 1% had GAD-7 scores of 15 or greater. Evidence supports reliability and validity of the GAD-7 as a measure of anxiety in the general population. The normative data provided in this study can be used to compare a subject's GAD-7 score with those determined from a general population reference group.

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          Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives

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            A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: the GAD-7.

            Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common mental disorders; however, there is no brief clinical measure for assessing GAD. The objective of this study was to develop a brief self-report scale to identify probable cases of GAD and evaluate its reliability and validity. A criterion-standard study was performed in 15 primary care clinics in the United States from November 2004 through June 2005. Of a total of 2740 adult patients completing a study questionnaire, 965 patients had a telephone interview with a mental health professional within 1 week. For criterion and construct validity, GAD self-report scale diagnoses were compared with independent diagnoses made by mental health professionals; functional status measures; disability days; and health care use. A 7-item anxiety scale (GAD-7) had good reliability, as well as criterion, construct, factorial, and procedural validity. A cut point was identified that optimized sensitivity (89%) and specificity (82%). Increasing scores on the scale were strongly associated with multiple domains of functional impairment (all 6 Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey scales and disability days). Although GAD and depression symptoms frequently co-occurred, factor analysis confirmed them as distinct dimensions. Moreover, GAD and depression symptoms had differing but independent effects on functional impairment and disability. There was good agreement between self-report and interviewer-administered versions of the scale. The GAD-7 is a valid and efficient tool for screening for GAD and assessing its severity in clinical practice and research.
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              The PHQ-9

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Medical Care
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0025-7079
                2008
                March 2008
                : 46
                : 3
                : 266-274
                Article
                10.1097/MLR.0b013e318160d093
                18388841
                0ce25c11-71d2-49e1-90c6-5fbf92d4aff6
                © 2008
                History

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