Generalized worry disorder: a review of DSM-IV generalized anxiety disorder and options for DSM-V.

Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Depression and Anxiety (Impact Factor: 4.29). 02/2010; 27(2):134-47. DOI: 10.1002/da.20658
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has undergone a series of substantial classificatory changes since its first inclusion in DSM-III. The majority of these revisions have been in response to its poor inter-rater reliability and concerns that it may lack diagnostic validity. This article provides options for the revision of the DSM-IV GAD criteria for DSM-V.
First, searches were conducted to identify the evidence that previous DSM Work Groups relied upon when revising the DSM-III-R GAD and the overanxious disorder classifications. Second, the literature pertaining to the DSM-IV criteria for GAD was examined.
The review presents a number of options to be considered for DSM-V. One option is for GAD to be re-labeled in DSM-V as generalized worry disorder. This would reflect its hallmark feature. Proposed revisions would result in a disorder that is characterized by excessive anxiety and worry generalized to a number of events or activities for 3 months or more. Worry acts as a cognitive coping strategy that manifests in avoidant behaviors. The reliability and validity of the proposed changes could be investigated in DSM-V validity tests and field trials.

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