A Screening Tool for Social Anxiety Disorder in Primary Care

Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health, University of Cape Town, South, Africa.
The Journal of nervous and mental disease (Impact Factor: 1.69). 02/2012; 200(2):163-6. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182439732
Source: PubMed


There is little research from low- and middle-income countries examining the psychometric properties of a screening tool for social anxiety disorder. The sensitivity and specificity of the Social Anxiety Screening Questionnaire against the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview as a gold standard in social phobia diagnosis were investigated using analyses of receiver operating characteristics. The "best subsets" selection procedure was conducted to determine the best three to five questions. Three questions on the screening questionnaire that best discriminate between a positive and negative diagnosis of social anxiety disorder on the MINI module were identified. Answering yes to all three of these questions gives a false-positive rate of 0.44 and a false negative rate of 0.11. For this combination, the sensitivity was 0.84, and specificity was 0.67. Additional work is needed to develop a more accurate scale that could help increase the percentage of people who receive appropriate treatment of this debilitating disorder.

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    ABSTRACT: Background. There are many instruments to use in primary care in Mental Health. However, the overall limitations found are that some instruments were developed specifically for research purposes and scales cover a limited range of symptoms and mental disorders like anxiety and depression. Scales used in clinical settings for anxiety and depressive symptoms usually assess the presence or absence of symptoms rather than give a specific diagnosis and leaves out a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders such as dementia and psychosis. For this reasons, multiple alternatives to overcome these problems have been proposed worldwide. Objective. To review in a critical way the instruments used in primary care. Materials and methods. Literatury review. Results. Among the tools developed and used are the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). Another instrument is the Global Mental Health Assessment Tool (GMHAT). This tool allows broad screening and diagnosis of mental health problems for people with little training in psychiatry and in a short time. Conclusion. Short Instruments that perform an overall assessment of the mental state are preferred over those that are specific to a single disorder.
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    ABSTRACT: Social anxiety is a nearly universal human phenomenon, and can range from normal concerns over social evaluation to debilitating distress and associated disruption in social, academic, and vocational functioning. Careful assessment of social anxiety is critical, especially in clinical contexts. We review various tools used to assess social anxiety, including clinical interviews, interviewer-rated scales, self-report questionnaires, self-monitoring techniques, thought-listing procedures, and psychophysiological assessments for adults, adolescents, and children. We likewise review measures of theoretically-derived factors associated with social anxiety.
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    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Revista de la Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
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