The scale is useful in primary care and mental health settings as a screening tool and symptom severity measure for the four common anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder). It does not replace a clinical assessment and diagnosis.
This test comprises seven sentences: each represents an anxiety symptom.
Ask the patient:
How often have you been bothered by the following problems over the past 2 weeks?
1. Becoming easily upset or irritable
2. Being so restless that it's hard to sit still
3. Feeling afraid, as if something awful might happen
4. Feeling nervous, anxious, or tense
5. Not being able to stop or control worrying
6. Trouble relaxing
7. Worrying too much about different things
Each sentence has four possible answers:
Not at all = 0
Several days = +1
More than half the days = +2
Nearly every day = +3
Total scores: (anxiety disorder)
0 = none
5 - 9 = mild
10 - 14 = moderate
> 15 = severe
• Higher scores associate with incapacity and functional impairment (e.g., work production and health care utilization).
• Scores ≥10: Suggest the need for assessment (diagnostic interview and mental status examination) and/or referral to a mental health professional.
See reference for more information.
Adapted from Tools and Resources. Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). GAD-7 anxiety scale. Internet. Available at https://www.capc.org/documents/download/465/. Accessed on October 15, 2021.