Introduction

Generalized anxiety disorder is a very common mental problem.

According to this website, these are the symptoms:

  • Constant worries running through your head

  • Feeling like your anxiety is uncontrollable; there is nothing you can do to stop the worrying

  • Intrusive thoughts about things that make you anxious; you try to avoid thinking about them, but you can’t

  • An inability to tolerate uncertainty; you need to know what’s going to happen in the future

  • A pervasive feeling of apprehension or dread

Click here or here to find tips about where to find help with anxiety.

The GAD-7 is a short test that checks symptoms and can be used assess the severity of generalized anxiety.

This test is in no way a replacement of clinical diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder.

The possible scores on the GAD-7 run from 0 to 21.

In the study by Spitzer et al. (2006), more than 2000 patients in primary care settings participated. Of the patients who were known to suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, the average GAD-7 score was 14.4. Of the patients that were known not to suffer from the disorder, the GAD-7 score was 4.9.

According to the paper, people with a score of 10 or greater might suffer from generlized anxiety disorder.
Women suffer considerably more from generalized anxiety disorder than men.

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It seems that the GAD-7 can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Spitzer et al., 2006).

Technically

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
scale: frequency
- {score=0} not at all
- {score=1} several days
- {score=2} more than half the days
- {score=3} nearly every day

l: gad
t: scale frequency
o: width 50%
q: Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by the following problems?
- Feeling nervous, anxious or on edge
- Not being able to stop or control worrying
- Worrying too much about different things
- Trouble relaxing
- Being so restless that it is hard to sit still
- Becoming easily annoyed or irritable
- Feeling afraid as if something awful might happen

l:
t: jump
- if $gad == 0 then goto score

l: difficulty
t: radio
q: How difficult have these problems made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?
- Not difficult at all
- Somewhat difficult
- Very difficult
- Extremely difficult

l: score
t: set
- sum $gad

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your score on the GAD-7 is {$score}<br>
If your score is 10 points or higher, you might suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.<br>
If you are concerned about this, please get back to the PsyToolkit survey library, where<br>
you can find helpful links.<br>
Please note that this is purely a technical demonstration.<br>
The scores on this website cannot replace clinical advice.<br>

References

  • Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B. W., & Lowe, B. (2006). A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder - The GAD-7. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 1092-1097.