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Test–retest reliability and sensitivity to change of the dimensional anxiety scales for DSM-5

  • Susanne Knappe (a1), Jens Klotsche (a1), Franziska Heyde (a1), Sarah Hiob (a1), Jens Siegert (a1), Jürgen Hoyer (a1), Anja Strobel (a2), Richard T. LeBeau (a3), Michelle G. Craske (a3), Hans-Ulrich Wittchen (a1) and Katja Beesdo-Baum (a1)...



This article reports on the test–retest reliability and sensitivity to change of a set of brief dimensional self-rating questionnaires for social anxiety disorder (SAD-D), specific phobia (SP-D), agoraphobia (AG-D), panic disorder (PD-D), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-D), as well as a general cross-cutting anxiety scale (Cross-D), which were developed to supplement categorical diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5).


The German versions of the dimensional anxiety scales were administered to 218 students followed up approximately 2 weeks later (Study 1) and 55 outpatients (23 with anxiety diagnoses) followed-up 1 year later (Study 2). Probable diagnostic status in students was determined by the DIA-X/M-CIDI stem screening-questionnaire (SSQ). In the clinical sample, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) diagnoses were assessed at Time 1 using the DIA-X/M-CIDI. At Time 2, the patient-version of the Clinical Global Impression—Improvement scale (CGI-I) was applied to assess change.


Good psychometric properties, including high test–retest reliability, were found for the dimensional scales except for SP-D. In outpatients, improvement at Time 2 was associated with significant decrease in PD-D, GAD-D, and Cross-D scores.


Major advantages of the scales include that they are brief, concise, and based on a consistent template to measure the cognitive, physiological, and behavioral symptoms of fear and anxiety. Further replication in larger samples is needed. Given its modest psychometric properties, SP-D needs refinement.


Increasing evidence from diverse samples suggests clinical utility of the dimensional anxiety scales.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Susanne Knappe, Technische Universität Dresden, Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Chemnitzer Str. 46, 01187 Dresden, Germany. (Email:


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This article was generated as part of the DSM-5 Work Group activities, ©2012 by the American Psychiatric Association.



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