Article

A Brief Mental Health Outcome Scale - Reliability and Validity of the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF)

Institute of Psychiatry, London.
The British Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.99). 06/1995; 166(5):654-9. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.166.5.654
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) is a quick and simple measure of overall psychological disturbance. However, there is little research on the reliability and validity of this measure in severely mentally ill populations.
Multidisciplinary keyworkers assessed 103 patients at monthly intervals over a 6-month period. Overall GAF scores were obtained, with additional separate ratings for symptoms and disability. These were compared with changes in antipsychotic medication and support needs over the same period.
Satisfactory reliability was obtained for total GAF score and for symptom and disability measures, in spite of raters having only one brief training session. All GAF scores were associated with current support needs of patients. Symptom and disability scores were associated with changes in antipsychotic medication in the previous month. Only symptom score was associated with increases in antipsychotic medication at time of rating.
GAF proved to be a reliable and, within the limits of the indicators used, a valid measure of psychiatric disturbance in our sample of the severely mentally ill. Differences in relationships between the three GAF scores and medication/support needs indicate the usefulness of obtaining all three scores for monitoring levels and type of psychiatric disturbance in this population.

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    • "All participants were evaluated using the Global Assessment of Functioning scale (Jones et al., 1995) (GAF). Parental socioeconomic status (PSES) was assessed using the Hollingshead four-factor index (Hollingshead, 1975). "
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    • "General functioning. General functioning was assessed using the GAF (Jones et al., 1995) resulting in scores ranging from 0 to 100. 2.3.2.3. "
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    • "Participants' impulsivity was assessed using Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS) version 11, a 30-item self-report measure designed to assess the personality trait of impulsivity composed of three subscales: attentional (intolerance of complexity), motor (impetuous action), and nonplanning (lack of future orientation) impulsivity (Patton et al., 1995). Patient functioning was measured by Social Functioning Scale (SFS) (Birchwood et al., 1990) and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) (Jones et al., 1995). Patient symptomatology was quantified using Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) (Kay et al., 1987) and cognition was evaluated using Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) (Keefe, 2004). "
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