Anxiety Symptoms

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – 7 items (GAD-7)

The GAD-7 is the tool that the committee of experts recommends to evaluate generalized anxiety disorder in population-based surveys (Information sheet 1, Questionnaire 1). The standard threshold to assess generalized anxiety disorder is 10 (Spitzer et al., 2006), the threshold at which sensitivity and specificity are acceptable (Plummer et al., 2016; Spitzer et al., 2006). A two-item version (GAD-2) exists that appears to display equally good sensitivity and specificity for screening (Kroenke et al., 2007). However, to conduct post-disaster surveillance, the long version with seven items is more appropriate since it makes it easier to assess changes over time, among other things because it evaluates their severity.

Le GAD-7 et GAD-2 sont des instruments utilisés pour dépister l’anxiété généralisée, mais ne permettent pas d’émettre de diagnostic clinique. Il existe une version qui utilise un vocabulaire adapté pour les adolescents, toutefois, elle n’a pas été traduite en français, quoique la version pour adulte (GAD-7) est souvent utilisée chez les adolescents (Mossman et al., 2017).

Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI)

The MINI is an instrument that could be used for smaller surveys since a trained interviewer must use it during a structured interview, which is usually more costly than a self-report questionnaire (Information sheet 2) (Sheehan et al., 1998). While certain studies use the MINI through self-reporting on paper, this data collection method is hardly appropriate for the MINI (Pettersson et al., 2018).

The MINI evaluates 17 mental health problems, including generalized anxiety disorder. It also allows for a diagnosis when it is used in accordance with the administration criteria. It measures the absence or presence of disease, often based on stringent criteria that satisfy those in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It therefore differs from screening tools, whose continuous scale assesses different levels of symptoms. The section on generalized anxiety disorder contains 10 items, to one of which the interviewer must respond to ascertain whether anxiety symptoms can be explained by other conditions measured in the preceding sections of the MINI. Consequently, the actual length of the questionnaire exceeds the 10 items in the module on anxiety.

This instrument is protected and requires a user licence. The licence is often free of charge for the English version while a fee may apply to the translated versions, depending on the user profile. Accordingly, since the instrument is protected and is updated with each new version of the DSM (the most recent version of the MINI is 7), the questionnaires are not included in this toolkit (Sheehan and Lecrubier, 2018).