Disability measurement in the anxiety disorders: Comparison of three brief measures

Kristy Sanderson, Gavin Andrews, Willeke Jelsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


General measures of disablement are powerful tools in clinical settings as they provide a link between clinic and community populations and allow cross-disorder comparisons. Because of their generic nature, they allow the transmittal of comprehensible health planning information to decision makers. We located no studies of such general disability measures in the anxiety disorders and decided to examine the properties of three brief generic measures in an anxiety disorders clinic. Consecutive attenders (N=168) were administered the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 item (SF-12), the Brief Disability Questionnaire (BDQ), and a measure of the number of disability days due to health over the past 4 weeks. These measures were compared on their ability to discriminate within the clinic and in comparison to a representative community group. The mental health scale of the SF-12 was the most sensitive of the generic measures to differences in functioning, and is recommended as a measure of such for people with anxiety disorders. Attenders at this anxiety clinic reported high levels of disablement, and normative data on the general measures are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number4
Early online date27 Jun 2001
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001

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