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Questionnaires > General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7)

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7)

Regularly measuring patients’ symptoms of anxiety helps clinicians better understand patient health and demonstrate the impacts of treatment. Creyos Health includes the digital GAD-7 questionnaire to integrate into any assessment alongside cognitive tasks or other questionnaires.

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How to take the General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) Questionnaire

Questions on the GAD-7 ask about how often patients have been bothered by symptoms over the last 2 weeks. Each item is scored from 0 to 3, and a total score is indicative of anxiety severity.

The history of General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7)

The GAD-7 is commonly used in many healthcare and research contexts where anxiety can be involved in a diagnosis or as a key outcome measure. It was developed to overcome issues with traditional anxiety measures, such as taking too long and requiring in-person administration, by streamlining the process with a 7-item self-administered assessment that is quick and easy to complete. Research has shown the GAD-7 is small but mighty. It has strong psychometric properties, despite taking very little time. In a recent paper, Johnson et al. (2019) administered the GAD-7 to a variety of psychiatric patients, and found that it has excellent reliability and validity. When used with a cutoff score of 8 for the purposes of screening or diagnosis of anxiety disorders, it also has good sensitivity and specificity. Furthermore, scores were responsive to changes due to treatments, even in this study's diverse sample.

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) in
the real world

Anxiety has far-reaching effects on general health, and adherence to treatment. Furthermore, anxiety is closely related with cognition, making the GAD-7 a natural fit with brain health measures. In two large studies using Creyos tasks, we found that cognition was clearly related with self-reported anxiety. This relationship was especially pronounced for the short-term memory tasks: Monkey Ladder, Paired Associates, Spatial Span, and Token Search, so these tasks may be of particular interest when administering the GAD-7 and a cognitive battery side by side (see Hampshire et al., 2012, and Wild et al., 2018).

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