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Varying temporal criteria for generalized anxiety disorder: prevalence and clinical characteristics in a young age cohort


Angst, J; Gamma, A; Joseph Bienvenu, O; Eaton, W W; Ajdacic, V; Eich, D; Rössler, W (2006). Varying temporal criteria for generalized anxiety disorder: prevalence and clinical characteristics in a young age cohort. Psychological Medicine, 36(9):1283-1292.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study questions the 6-month duration criterion for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) used in DSM-III-R and DSM-IV. METHOD: In adults from age 20/21 to 40/41 in the prospective Zurich Cohort Study, four groups of generalized anxiety syndromes defined by varying duration (2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months) were compared. RESULTS: Applying DSM-III (1979-1999) and DSM-III-R (1986-1999) criteria, there were no significant differences between the four groups in terms of family history of anxiety, work impairment, distress, treatment rates or co-morbidity with major depressive episodes (MDEs), bipolar disorder or suicide attempts. Only social impairment related to the length of episodes. The 6-month criterion of DSM-III-R and DSM-IV GAD would preclude this diagnosis in about half of the subjects treated for generalized anxiety syndromes. CONCLUSIONS: In this epidemiological sample, the 6-month duration criterion for GAD could not be confirmed as clinically meaningful. GAD syndromes of varying duration form a continuum with comparable clinical relevance.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study questions the 6-month duration criterion for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) used in DSM-III-R and DSM-IV. METHOD: In adults from age 20/21 to 40/41 in the prospective Zurich Cohort Study, four groups of generalized anxiety syndromes defined by varying duration (2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months) were compared. RESULTS: Applying DSM-III (1979-1999) and DSM-III-R (1986-1999) criteria, there were no significant differences between the four groups in terms of family history of anxiety, work impairment, distress, treatment rates or co-morbidity with major depressive episodes (MDEs), bipolar disorder or suicide attempts. Only social impairment related to the length of episodes. The 6-month criterion of DSM-III-R and DSM-IV GAD would preclude this diagnosis in about half of the subjects treated for generalized anxiety syndromes. CONCLUSIONS: In this epidemiological sample, the 6-month duration criterion for GAD could not be confirmed as clinically meaningful. GAD syndromes of varying duration form a continuum with comparable clinical relevance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adult - Anxiety Disorders/diagnosis/epidemiology/psychology - Cohort Studies - Demography - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Female - Humans - Male - Prevalence - Reproducibility of Results - Severity of Illness Index - Time Factors
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:29 Sep 2011 08:36
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:01
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0033-2917
Additional Information:Copyright: Cambridge University Press
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291706007938
PubMed ID:16734945

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