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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01713

Psychometric properties of the GAD-7 in a heterogeneous psychiatric sample

  • 1Modum Bad Psychiatric Center, Norway
  • 2University of Oslo, Norway

The GAD-7 is commonly used as a measure of general anxiety symptoms across various settings and populations. However, there has been disagreement regarding the factor structure of the GAD-7, and there is a need for larger studies investigating the psychometric properties of the measure. Patients undergoing treatment (N = 1201), both inpatient and outpatient patients, completed the GAD-7 at pre- and posttreatment. Measures of depression, well-being, and other anxiety measures were also completed, making it possible to investigate convergent and divergent validity. Internal consistency and convergent validity were excellent for the total sample, and there was acceptable variation related to treatment groups.
We conducted an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) on a random sample (50%) of the patients at intake and then conducted a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to confirm the factor structure in the other part of the sample at intake. The EFA indicated a clear one-factor solution, but the one-factor solution with CFA provided a poor fit to the data. Correlating the residuals among items assessing somatic symptoms led to a good fit in a respecified CFA solution. The GAD-7 has excellent internal consistency, and the one-factor structure in a heterogeneous clinical population was supported.

Keywords: GAD-7, Anxiety, Psychometric, assessment, Comorbidity

Received: 21 Jan 2019; Accepted: 09 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Roberto Cattivelli, Italian Auxological Institute (IRCCS), Italy

Reviewed by:

MARIA ANNA DONATI, University of Florence, Italy
Kumiko Muramatsu, Niigata Seiryo University, Japan  

Copyright: © 2019 Johnson, Ulvenes, Øktedalen and Hoffart. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Sverre U. Johnson, Modum Bad Psychiatric Center, Vikersund, Norway, sverre.johnson@modum-bad.no