The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale (GADSS) is a validated measure of Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptom severity. Given the high prevalence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in the elderly and the need for a validated scale to assess GAD severity in this age group, we examined the psychometric properties of the GADSS in the elderly.
Design, Setting, Participants
We examined a sample of 134 elderly subjects (age 60 and above) who met diagnostic criteria for current GAD, 33 healthy elderly comparison subjects (age 60 and above) and 186 younger subjects (age 18 to 60) diagnosed with GAD.
The GADSS had a high internal consistency in the elderly subjects (raw Cronbach’s alpha =0.76). Pearson correlations showed a significant positive correlation between GADSS, Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety and Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Pearson correlations showed an inverse significant correlation between GADSS and the Medical Outcome Study SF-36. There was no correlation between GADSS and Mini Mental State Examination or Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics.
The results showed a good convergent, concurrent and discriminant validity of the GADSS when used for elderly with GAD. We conclude that GADSS is a valid measure of GAD symptom severity in older adults.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Elderly; Severity Scale
The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) is a widely used, comprehensive self-report measure of sleep quality and impairment, which has demonstrated good psychometric properties within various populations, including older adults. However, the psychometric properties of the PSQI and its component scores have not been evaluated for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Additionally, changes in PSQI global or component scores have not been reported following cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) of late-life GAD. This study examined (1) the psychometric properties of the PSQI within a sample of 216 elderly primary care patients age 60 or older with GAD who were referred for treatment of worry and/or anxiety; as well as (2) response to CBT, relative to usual care, for 134 patients with principal or coprincipal GAD. The PSQI demonstrated good internal consistency reliability and adequate evidence of construct validity. Those receiving CBT experienced greater reductions in PSQI global scores at post-treatment, relative to those receiving usual care. Further, PSQI global and domain scores pertaining to sleep quality and difficulties falling asleep (i.e., sleep latency and sleep disturbances) demonstrated response to treatment over a 12-month follow-up period. Overall, results highlight the usefulness of the PSQI global and component scores for use in older adults with GAD.
Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; psychometrics; generalized anxiety disorder; elderly; cognitive behavioral therapy
The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) was designed to efficiently measure the core symptoms of anxiety and depression and has demonstrated positive psychometric properties in adult samples of anxiety and depression patients and student samples. Despite these findings, the psychometric properties of the DASS remain untested in older adults, for whom the identification of efficient measures of these constructs is especially important.
To determine the psychometric properties of the DASS 21-item version in older adults, we analyzed data from 222 medical patients seeking treatment to manage worry. Consistent with younger samples, a three-factor structure best fit the data. Results also indicated good internal consistency, excellent convergent validity, and good discriminative validity, especially for the depression scale. Receiver operating curve analyses indicated that the DASS-21 predicted the diagnostic presence of generalized anxiety disorder and depression as well as other commonly used measures.
These data suggest that the DASS may be used with older adults in lieu of multiple scales designed to measure similar constructs, thereby reducing participant burden and facilitating assessment in settings with limited assessment resources.
Depression Anxiety Stress Scale; Older Adults; GAD; Anxiety; Assessment
The Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale—Parent Version (RCADS-P) is a 47-item parent-report questionnaire of youth anxiety and depression, with scales corresponding to the DSM-IV categories of Separation Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The RCADS-P is currently the only parent-report questionnaire that concurrently assesses youth symptomatology of individual anxiety disorders as well as depression in accordance with DSM-IV nosology. The present study examined the psychometric properties of the RCADS-P in a large (N = 490), clinic-referred sample of youths. The RCADS-P demonstrated favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency, convergent/divergent validity, as well as strong discriminant validity—evidencing an ability to discriminate between anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as between the targeted anxiety disorders. Support for the DSM-related six-factor RCADS-P structure was also evidenced. This structure demonstrated superior fit to a recently suggested alternative to the DSM-IV classification of anxiety and affective disorders—namely, the MDD/GAD “distress” factor.
Parent-report; Assessment; Anxiety; Depression; Diagnostic and statistical manual; Psychometrics
Purpose: This study determined the psychometric properties of a variety of anxiety measures administered to older adults receiving home care services. Design and Methods: Data were collected from 66 adults aged 65 years and older who were receiving home care services. Participants completed self-report and clinician-rated measures of anxiety and diagnostic interviews for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Results: Most measures demonstrated acceptable psychometric properties. All of the measures showed excellent interrater reliability to support verbal administration, which is the typical mode of assessment in home care. The ease of use for each measure (e.g., time of administration) was also evaluated. The Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) demonstrated the strongest and the Beck Anxiety Inventory the weakest psychometric properties. The GAI and the GAD screening questions from The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) demonstrated the greatest utility in screening for anxiety disorders (either GAD or anxiety disorder not otherwise specified). Implications: These data support the use of anxiety measures within a geriatric home care setting. The strengths and weaknesses of each measure are discussed to facilitate selection of the optimal measure depending upon assessment goals and available resources.
Anxiety; Home care; Assessment
The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire-IV (GAD-Q-IV) is a self-report diagnostic measure of generalized anxiety disorder. Previous studies have established the psychometric properties of the GAD-Q-IV revealing excellent diagnostic specificity and sensitivity as well as good test-retest reliability and convergent and discriminant validity (Newman et al., 2002). Recent analyses with other measures of anxiety symptoms have revealed differences across racial or national groups. Given that the GAD-Q-IV was tested primarily on Caucasian (78%) participants, the purpose of this study was to demonstrate the psychometric properties of the GAD-Q-IV across four racial groups: African American, Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian. A student sample of 585 undergraduate psychology students completed the GAD-Q-IV as well as other measures of anxiety symptoms. A clinical replication sample was obtained from 188 clinical participants who completed the GAD-Q-IV as part of a larger psychotherapy study. Results indicated excellent and very similar factor structures in the student sample, and similar psychometric properties across both samples across the racial groups. Implications for the use of the GAD-Q-IV across racial groups are discussed.
Anxiety; Assessment; Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Psychometric Analyses; GAD-Q-IV
The Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale—Parent Version (RCADS-P) is a parent-report questionnaire of youth anxiety and depression with scales corresponding to the DSM diagnoses of separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depressive disorder. The RCADS-P was recently developed and has previously demonstrated strong psychometric properties in a clinic-referred sample (Ebesutani et al., Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 38, 249–260, 2010b). The present study examined the psychometric properties of the RCADS-P in a school-based population. As completed by parents of 967 children and adolescents, the RCADS-P demonstrated high internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and good convergent/divergent validity, supporting the RCADS-P as a measure of internalizing problems specific to depression and five anxiety disorders in school samples. Normative data are also reported to allow for the derivation of T-scores to enhance clinicians’ ability to make classification decisions using RCADS-P subscale scores.
Parent-report; Assessment; Anxiety; Depression; Diagnostic and statistical manual; Psychometrics
Older adults face a number of barriers to receiving psychotherapy, such as a lack of transportation and access to providers. One way to overcome such barriers is to provide treatment by telephone. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy delivered by telephone (CBT-T) to older adults diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Randomized controlled trial.
Sixty participants ≥ 60 years of age with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, or Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
CBT-T vs. information-only comparison.
Co-primary outcomes included worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire) and general anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory). Secondary outcomes included clinician-rated anxiety (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale), anxiety sensitivity (Anxiety Sensitivity Index), depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory), quality of life (SF-36), and sleep (Insomnia Severity Index). Assessments were completed prior to randomization, immediately upon completion of treatment, and 6 months after completing treatment.
CBT-T was superior to information-only in reducing general anxiety (ES = 0.71), worry (ES = 0.61), anxiety sensitivity (ES = 0.85), and insomnia (ES = 0.82) at the post-treatment assessment; however, only the reductions in worry were maintained by the 6 month follow-up assessment (ES = 0.80).
These results suggest that CBT-T may be efficacious in reducing anxiety and worry in older adults, but additional sessions may be needed to maintain these effects.
anxiety; cognitive-behavioral therapy; elderly; Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Panic Disorder; telephone-delivered psychotherapy
The Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS) is a 5-item self-report measure that can be used to assess severity and impairment associated with any anxiety disorder or multiple anxiety disorders. A prior investigation with a nonclinical sample supported the reliability and validity of the OASIS; however, to date it has not been validated for use in clinical samples.
The present study assessed the psychometric properties of the OASIS in a large sample (N = 1,036) of primary care patients whose physicians referred them to an anxiety disorders treatment study. Latent structure, internal consistency, convergent/discriminant validity, and cut-score analyses were conducted.
Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a unidimensional structure. The five OASIS items displayed strong loadings on the single factor and had a high degree of internal consistency. OASIS scores demonstrated robust correlations with global and disorder-specific measures of anxiety, and weak correlations with measures of unrelated constructs. A cut-score of 8 correctly classified 87% of this sample as having an anxiety diagnosis or not.
Convergent validity measures consisted solely of other self-report measures of anxiety. Future studies should evaluate the convergence of OASIS scores with clinician-rated and behavioral measures of anxiety severity.
Overall, this investigation suggests that the OASIS is a valid instrument for measurement of anxiety severity and impairment in clinical samples. Its brevity and applicability to a wide range of anxiety disorders enhance its utility as a screening and assessment tool.
anxiety; self-report; assessment; validity; factor analysis
The present study examines the construct validity of separation anxiety disorder (SAD), social phobia (SoP), panic disorder (PD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a clinical sample of children. Participants were 174 children, 6 to 17 years old (94 boys) who had undergone a diagnostic evaluation at a university hospital based clinic. Parent and child ratings of symptom severity were assessed using the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC). Diagnostician ratings were obtained from the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children and Parents (ADIS: C/P). Discriminant and convergent validity were assessed using confirmatory factor analytic techniques to test a multitrait–multimethod model. Confirmatory factor analyses supported the current classification of these child anxiety disorders. The disorders demonstrated statistical independence from each other (discriminant validity of traits), the model fit better when the anxiety syndromes were specified than when no specific syndromes were specified (convergent validity), and the methods of assessment yielded distinguishable, unique types of information about child anxiety (discriminant validity of methods). Using a multi-informant approach, these findings support the distinctions between childhood anxiety disorders as delineated in the current classification system, suggesting that disagreement between informants in psychometric studies of child anxiety measures is not due to poor construct validity of these anxiety syndromes.
Anxiety; Parent–child agreement; Construct validity
Anxiety disorders and pain are commonly comorbid, though little is known about the effect of pain on the course and treatment of anxiety.
This is a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial for anxiety treatment in primary care. Participants with panic disorder (PD) and/or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (N = 191; 81% female, mean age 44) were randomized to either their primary-care physician’s usual care or a 12-month course of telephone-based collaborative care. Anxiety severity, pain interference, health-related quality of life, health services use, and employment status were assessed at baseline, and at 2-, 4-, 8-, and 12-month follow-up. We defined response to anxiety treatment as a 40% or greater improvement from baseline on anxiety severity scales at 12-month follow-up.
The 39% who reported high pain interference at baseline had more severe anxiety (mean SIGH-A score: 21.8 versus 18.0, P<.001), greater limitations in activities of daily living, and more work days missed in the previous month (5.8 versus 4.0 days, P = .01) than those with low pain interference. At 12-month follow-up, high pain interference was associated with a lower likelihood of responding to anxiety treatment (OR = .28; 95% CI = .12–.63) and higher health services use (26.1% with ≥1 hospitalization versus 12.0%, P<.001).
Pain that interferes with daily activities is prevalent among primary care patients with PD/GAD and associated with more severe anxiety, worse daily functioning, higher health services use, and a lower likelihood of responding to treatment for PD/GAD.
anxiety disorders; pain; primary care; activities of daily living
Brief measures of anxiety related severity and impairment that can be used across anxiety disorders and with subsyndromal anxiety are lacking. The Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS) have shown strong psychometric properties with college students and primary care patients. This study examines sensitivity, specificity, and efficiency of an abbreviated version of the OASIS that takes only 2–3 minutes to complete using a non-clinical (college student) sample. 48 participants completed the OASIS and SCID for anxiety disorders, 21 had a diagnosis of ≥1 anxiety disorder, and 4 additional participants had a subthreshold diagnosis. A cut-score of 8 best discriminated those with anxiety disorders from those without, successfully classifying 78% of the sample with 69% sensitivity and 74% specificity. Results from a larger sample (n=171) showed a single factor structure and excellent convergent and divergent validity. The availability of cut-scores for a non-clinical sample furthers the utility of this measure for settings where screening or brief assessment of anxiety is needed.
anxiety; measurement; psychometrics; screening
Primary care physicians often treat older adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
To estimate physician diagnosis and recognition of anxiety and compare health service use among older adults with GAD with two comparison samples with and without other DSM diagnoses.
Participants were 60+ patients of a multi-specialty medical organization. Administrative database and medical records were reviewed for a year. Differences in frequency of health service use were analyzed with logistic regression and between-subjects analysis of covariance.
Physician diagnosis of GAD was 1.5% and any anxiety was 9%, and recognition of anxiety symptoms was 34% in older adults with GAD. After controlling for medical comorbidity, radiology appointments were increased in the GAD group relative to those with and without other psychiatric diagnoses, χ2 (2, N = 225) = 4.75, p < .05.
Most patients with anxiety do not have anxiety or symptoms documented in their medical records.
Generalized anxiety disorder; Primary care; Older patients; Database study; Medical record review
Much about the long-term course of anxiety disorders is unknown. The present study utilizes a naturalistic, longitudinal, short-interval follow-up design to elucidate the course of anxiety disorders over 14 years in a largely middle-aged adult sample recruited from out-patient psychiatry and primary care facilities.
The sample consisted of 453 participants with a diagnosis of panic disorder (PD), social phobia (SP) and/or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Anxiety symptom ratings were tracked using weekly psychiatric status ratings (PSRs). Controlling for demographic and clinical variables, the course of PD, GAD and SP were examined using longitudinal growth models, with the most severe PSR at each follow-up point as the main outcome variable.
PSRs significantly decreased in severity over time in each of the three disorders. In the interaction effects models, age×time had a significant effect on course for PD and GAD, but not for SP, in that older age was associated with lower PSRs over time.
The present findings suggest that the severity of anxiety disorders declines over time, although this decline is modest and depends on the specific disorder being assessed. Older individuals with PD and GAD have a better prognosis than their younger counterparts, as their course is characterized by a steeper decline in severity. The present findings provide important information about the course of anxiety disorders in mid-life.
Anxiety disorders; longitudinal studies; panic disorder; phobic disorders; prospective studies
To determine the association of early and long-term reductions in worry symptoms after cognitive behavioral therapy for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in older adults.
Substudy of larger randomized controlled trial
Family medicine clinic and large multi-specialty health organization in Houston, TX, between March 2004 and August 2006
Patients (N=76) 60 years or older with a principal or coprincipal diagnosis of GAD, excluding those with significant cognitive impairment, bipolar disorder, psychosis or active substance abuse.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, up to 10 sessions over 12 weeks, or enhanced usual care (regular, brief telephone calls and referrals to primary care provider as needed)
Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) administered by telephone at baseline, 1 month (mid-treatment), 3 months (post-treatment), and at 3-month intervals through 15 months (1-year follow-up). We used binary logistic regression analysis to determine the association between early (1-month) response and treatment responder status (reduction of more than 8.5 points on the PSWQ) at 3 and 15 months. We also used hierarchical linear modeling to determine the relationship of early response to the trajectory of score change after post-treatment.
Reduction in PSWQ scores after the first month predicted treatment response at post-treatment and follow-up, controlling for treatment arm and baseline PSWQ score. The magnitude of early reduction also predicted the slope of score change from post-treatment through the 15-month assessment.
Early symptom reduction is associated with long-term outcomes after psychotherapy in older adults with GAD.
psychotherapy; generalized anxiety disorder; older adults
Panic disorder (PD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are often unrecognized by primary care physicians (PCPs). The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) has been used as a case-finding instrument for depression. Yet, little is known on its usefulness as a case-finding tool for anxiety disorders within the context of a clinical trial.
To examine the: (1) completion rate of the PRIME-MD by patients approached to enroll in a treatment study for PD and GAD; (2) distribution of anxiety diagnoses generated; (3) severity of PD and GAD episodes thus identified; and (4) level of PCPs' agreement with these diagnoses.
Individuals aged 18 to 64 who presented for care at 4 primary care practices.
The PRIME-MD, Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (SIGH-A), and the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS).
Of the 6,700 patients who completed the PRIME-MD Patient Questionnaire (PQ), 2,926 (44%) screened positive for an anxiety disorder, and 1,216 (42%) met preliminary study eligibility and consented to the PRIME-MD Anxiety Module. Of these, 619 (51%) had either GAD (308), PD (94), or both (217) disorders. Later, 329 completed a telephone interview. Of these, 59% with GAD and 68% with PD reported moderate or greater levels of anxiety symptoms on the SIGH-A and PDSS, respectively, and PCPs agreed with the PRIME-MD diagnosis for 98% of these patients.
The PRIME-MD can efficiently screen patients for PD and GAD. Although patients thus identified endorse a wide range of anxiety symptoms, PCPs often agree with the diagnosis.
anxiety; panic; generalized anxiety disorder; primary care; electronic medical record system
Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) has contributed to our understanding of excessive worry and adult anxiety disorders, but there is a paucity of research on IU in child samples. This gap is due to the absence of a psychometrically sound measure of IU in youth. The present study adapted parallel child- and parent-report forms of the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale (IUS) and examined the internal consistency, convergent validity, and classification properties of these forms in youth aged 7–17 (M = 11.6 years, SD = 2.6). Participating youth (N = 197; 100 females) either met diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder (N = 73) or were non-referred community participants (N = 124). The child-report form (i.e., IUS for Children, or IUSC), and to a lesser extent the parent-report form, demonstrated strong internal consistency and convergent validity, evidenced by significant associations with anxiety and worry (and reassurance-seeking in the case of the child-report form). Children diagnosed with anxiety disorders scored higher than non-referred community youth on both forms. ROC analysis demonstrated acceptable overall utility in distinguishing the two groups of youth. Findings provide preliminary support for use of the IUSC for continuous measurement of children’s ability to tolerate uncertainty.
Intolerance of Uncertainty; Child; Anxiety; Worry; Anxiety Disorders
To psychometrically validate the Spanish version of the self-administered 2-item GAD-2 scale for screening probable patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
The GAD-2 was self-administered by patients diagnosed with GAD according to DSM-IV criteria and by age- and sex-matched controls who were recruited at random in mental health and primary care centres. Criteria validity was explored using ROC curve analysis, and sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values were determined for different cut-off values. Concurrent validity was also established using the HAM-A, HADS, and WHODAS II scales.
The study sample consisted of 212 subjects (106 patients with GAD) with a mean age of 50.38 years (SD = 16.76). No items of the scale were left blank. Floor and ceiling effects were negligible. No patients with GAD had to be assisted to complete the questionnaire. Reliability (internal consistency) was high; Cronbach’s α = 0.875. A cut-off point of 3 showed adequate sensitivity (91.5%) and specificity (85.8%), with a statistically significant area under the curve (AUC = 0.937, p < 0.001), to distinguish GAD patients from controls. Concurrent validity was also high and significant with HAM-A (0.806, p < 0.001), HADS (anxiety domain, 0.825, p < 0.001) and WHO-DAS II (0.642, p < 0.001) scales.
The Spanish version of the GAD-2 scale has been shown to have appropriate psychometric properties to rapidly detect probable cases of GAD in the Spanish cultural context under routine clinical practice conditions.
GAD-2; Generalised anxiety disorder; Screening; Primary care; Psychometric validity
Research evaluating the relationship of comorbidity to treatment outcome for panic disorder has produced mixed results. The current study examined the relationship of comorbid depression and anxiety to treatment outcome in a large-scale, multi-site clinical trial for cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) for panic disorder. Comorbidity was associated with more severe panic disorder symptoms, although comorbid diagnoses were not associated with treatment response. Comorbid generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) were not associated with differential improvement on a measure of panic disorder severity, although only rates of comorbid GAD were significantly lower at posttreatment. Treatment responders showed greater reductions on measures of anxiety and depressive symptoms. These data suggest that comorbid anxiety and depression are not an impediment to treatment response, and successful treatment of panic disorder is associated with reductions of comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms. Implications for treatment specificity and conceptual understandings of comorbidity are discussed.
Panic disorder; Comorbidity; Treatment outcome; Anxiety; Depression
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) severely impacts social functioning, distress levels, and utilization of medical care compared with that of other major psychiatric disorders. Neither pharmacological nor psychotherapy interventions have adequately controlled cardinal symptoms of GAD: pervasive excessive anxiety and uncontrollable worry. Research has established cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as the most effective psychotherapy for controlling GAD; however, outcomes remain at only 50% reduction, with high relapse rates. Mindfulness has been integrated with CBT to treat people suffering from numerous psychiatric disorders, with mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) being the most researched. Preliminary evidence supports MBSR’s potential for controlling GAD symptoms and key researchers suggest mindfulness practices possess key elements for treating GAD. Classical mindfulness (CM) differs significantly from MBSR and possesses unique potentials for directly targeting process and state GAD symptoms inadequately treated by CBT. This article introduces the theory and practice of CM, its differences from MBSR, and a critical review of MBSR and CBT treatments for GAD. CM strategies designed to complement CBT targeting cardinal GAD symptoms are outlined with a case study illustrating its use.
Classical mindfulness; Generalized anxiety disorder; Mindfulness based stress reduction; Cognitive behavior therapy; Buddhist meditation; Psychotherapy integration
Overlap of cognitive and anxiety symptoms (i.e., difficulty concentrating, fatigue, restlessness) contributes to inconsistent, complicated assessment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)in persons with dementia.
Anxious dementia patients completed a psychiatric interview, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire-Abbreviated, and the Rating for Anxiety in Dementia scale. Analyses to describe the 43 patients with and without GAD included the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney two-sample test, Fisher’s exact test. Predictors of GAD diagnosis were identified using logistic regression.
Those with GAD were more likely to be male, have less severe dementia and endorsed more worry, and anxiety compared to patients without GAD. Gender, muscle tension and fatigue differentiated those with GAD from those without GAD.
Although this study is limited by a small sample, it describes clinical characteristics of GAD in dementia, highlighting the importance of muscle tension and fatigue in recognizing GAD in persons with dementia.
Generalized anxiety disorder; dementia; anxiety symptoms; dementia symptoms; differential diagnosis for generalized anxiety disorder/dementia
The 2004 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines highlight the importance of assessing severity of depression in primary care.
To assess the psychometric properties of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D) for measuring depression severity in primary care.
Design of study
Thirty-two general practices in Grampian, Scotland.
Consecutive patients referred to a primary care mental health worker completed the PHQ-9 and HADS at baseline (n = 1063) and at the end of treatment (n = 544). Data were analysed to assess reliability, robustness of factor structure, convergent/discriminant validity, convergence of severity banding, and responsiveness to change.
Both scales demonstrated high internal consistency at baseline and end of treatment (PHQ-9 α = 0.83 and 0.92; HADS-D α = 0.84 and 0.89). One factor emerged each for the PHQ-9 (explaining 42% of variance) and HADS-D (explaining 52% of variance). Both scales converged more with each other than with the HADS anxiety (HADS-A) subscale at baseline (P<0.001) and at end of treatment (P = 0.01). Responsiveness to change was similar: effect size for PHQ-9 = 0.99 and for the HADS-D = 1. The HADS-D and PHQ-9 differed significantly in categorising severity of depression, with the PHQ-9 categorising a greater proportion of patients with moderate/severe depression (P<0.001).
The HADS-D and PHQ-9 demonstrated reliability, convergent/discriminant validity, and responsiveness to change. However, they differed considerably in how they catergorised severity. Given that treatment decisions are made on the basis of severity, further work is needed to assess the validity of the scales' severity cut-off bands.
depression; measurement; primary care; severity
Over the past decade, a number of well-controlled studies have supported the validity of a cognitive model of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) that has four main components: intolerance of uncertainty, positive beliefs about worry, negative problem orientation, and cognitive avoidance. Although these studies have shown that the model components are associated with high levels of worry in nonclinical samples and with a diagnosis of GAD in clinical samples, they have not addressed the question of whether the model components can predict the severity of GAD. Accordingly, the present study sought to determine if the model components are related to diagnostic severity, worry severity, and somatic symptom severity in a sample of 84 patients with a primary diagnosis of GAD. All model components were related to GAD severity, although positive beliefs about worry and cognitive avoidance were only modestly associated with the severity of the disorder. Intolerance of uncertainty and negative problem orientation had more robust relationships with the severity of GAD (and with worry severity, in particular). When participants were divided into Mild, Moderate, and Severe GAD groups, intolerance of uncertainty and negative problem orientation distinguished the Moderate and Severe GAD groups from the Mild GAD group, even when age, gender, and depressive symptoms were statistically controlled. Overall, the results lend further support to the validity of the model and suggest that intolerance of uncertainty and negative problem orientation are related to the severity of GAD, independently of sociodemographic and associated clinical factors. The theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.
PMID: 17499083 CAMSID: cams1302
Some evidence suggests that acceptance-based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be well-suited to geriatric generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The primary goal of this project was to determine whether ACT was feasible for this population. Seven older primary-care patients with GAD received 12 individual sessions of ACT; another 9 were treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. No patients dropped out of ACT, and worry and depression improved. Findings suggest that ACT may warrant a large-scale investigation with anxious older adults.
The present study is aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MBCBT) for reducing cognitive and somatic anxiety and modifying dysfunctional cognitions in patients with anxiety disorders. A single case design with pre- and post-assessment was adopted. Four patients meeting the specified inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited for the study. Three patients received a primary diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), while the fourth patient was diagnosed with Panic Disorder. Patients were assessed on the Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety Questionnaire (CSAQ), Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), Hamilton's Anxiety Inventory (HAM-A), and Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale. The therapeutic program consisted of education regarding nature of anxiety, training in different versions of mindfulness meditation, cognitive restructuring, and strategies to handle worry, such as, worry postponement, worry exposure, and problem solving. A total of 23 sessions over four to six weeks were conducted for each patient. The findings of the study are discussed in light of the available research, and implications and limitations are highlighted along with suggestions for future research.
Anxiety; cognitive behavior therapy; dysfunctional cognitions; mindfulness