Interpretation:

When screening for anxiety disorders, a score of 8 or greater represents a reasonable cut-point for identifying probable cases of generalized anxiety disorder; further diagnostic assessment is warranted to determine the presence and type of anxiety disorder. Using a cut-off of 8 the GAD-7 has a sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 76% for diagnosis generalized anxiety disorder. 2,3The following cut-offs correlate with level of anxiety severity:
  • Score 0-4: Minimal Anxiety
  • Score 5-9: Mild Anxiety
  • Score 10-14: Moderate Anxiety
  • Score greater than 15: Severe Anxiety
Based on a recent meta-analysis, some experts have recommended considering using a cut-off of 8 in order to optimize sensitivity without compromising specificity2

Performance as Screening Tool for Anxiety Disorders

Although designed as a screening tool for generalized anxiety, the GAD-7 is also performs reasonably well as a screening tool for three other common anxiety disorders—Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

3Performance of GAD-7 as Screening Tool for Anxiety Disorders3
(Using GAD-7 Score Cut-off of ≥10)

TestSensitivitySpecificityPositive Likelihood Ratio
Generalized Anxiety Disorder89%82%5.1
Panic Disorder74%81%3.9
Social Anxiety Disorder72%80%3.6
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder66%81%3.5
Any anxiety disorder68%88%5.5