The GAD-7 has a high diagnostic value with low processing effort and can be used for diagnosis, screening and measurement of severity as well as for course measurement of generalized anxiety disorder.
Contrary to its name, the GAD-7 is not only sensitive to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) but also to other anxiety syndromes (especially phobias, panic disorder, PTSD). The instrument can therefore be assigned to the general anxiety inventories (e.g., BAI, HADS, STAI) in terms of its function.
The self-report questionnaire was developed for use in routine clinical practice and research. The GAD-7 can either be used alone or in combination with the PHQ-9 for depression and the PHQ-15 for somatoform disorders as the so-called Patient Health Questionnaire: Somatic, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptoms (PHQ-SADS), which serves as a comprehensive screening instrument for the most common mental disorders in general practice.