Anxiety screening by a two-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD-2)

Blocksurvey blog author
Jul 24, 2023 · 2 mins read

It has been pointed out that, in many cases, a short form of the screening tool could be applied to reduce the time and cost associated with using the full-length GAD-7 . One two-item screen for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), known as the GAD-2, was developed by Spitzer et al. The short-form screen consists of two questions from the full seven question GAD-7 .

What is GAD-2?

GAD-2 scale is a 2 item measuring tool used to screen probable patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, commonly known as GAD. When it comes to evaluating Mental health problems, most people are hesitant to talk to health professionals due to a lack of prior relationships or trust. So to solve these problems, certain tools like GAD-7 , GAD-2 comes into rescue to facilitate early recognition and diagnosis of Mental health disorders. Though GAD-2 is the smaller version of GAD- 7; it is also used to diagnose various other anxiety disorders like panic disorder, Social anxiety disorder , Post-traumatic stress disorder , etc.

Anxiety Disorders and GAD

For a better understanding of how the GAD-2 test works, we share some useful information on Anxiety disorders and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is the natural reaction of your body to stressful, dangerous, and unfamiliar situations. A certain level of anxiety helps us to stay alert and aware; it is important to maintain the normal harmony of our day-to-day activities and adapt to the environment.

Sometimes it also works as a warning signal that alerts the unconscious danger that ruins your current mental health. People with anxiety disorders are different, their fears and worries are so constant, and that interferes with their cognitive functions. They even struggle to carry on the usual chores, which in turn affect their functionality and productivity.

gad 2

GAD is a common anxiety disorder that involves constant worrying and nervousness. GAD worries are more diffused than a phobia; it is a general feeling of fear and uneasiness towards everything in life. They often get a feeling of something bad might happen without having any reason to justify their fear.

GAD-7 and GAD-2

GAD-7 is a 7 item questionnaire used to analyze the anxiety levels,which was developed based on the criteria given in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental disorders-IV. Though the signs and symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder vary widely with every other person, GAD-7 seems to be the best and accurate psychometric scale to measure anxiety levels globally.

There have been multiple suggestions to reduce the no. of questions in GAD-7 and use the first two questionswhich relate to the core symptomsof Generalized Anxiety Disorder. That leads to GAD-2, which uses the first two questions of GAD-7 to measure the anxiety level. GAD-2 scores are as accurate as GAD-7 in detecting the early symptoms of GAD in patients when it comes to diagnosis.

How the GAD-2 Questionnaire works

GAD-2 is an ultra-quick measuring tool; it has only two questions that are strongly related to anxiety disorder symptoms.

With 4 response categories, “not at all,” “several days,” “more than half the days,” “nearly every day.” These response categories are designed based on how often the particular person has been bothered by those 2 symptoms related to anxiety in the past 2 weeks.

Check your anxiety levels by the GAD-2 questionnaire.

How to interpret the GAD-2 score

The GAD-2 score is calculated by assigning 0, 1, 2, and 3 for each response category and adding them together. The score ranges from 0 to 6.

  • A GAD-2 score of 0-3 is considered to be diagnosed with mild anxiety levels. This anxiety level most of us experience in our day-to-day activities is a manageable level of anxiety without additional techniques or therapies.
  • A GAD-2 score of 3 and above is a strong signal for the clinical identification of anxiety disorders. You cannot stop your mind from worrying, feeling confused, and agitated all the time. You may experience severe panic so often, and your breathing becomes so fast. This level definitely needs professional help and proper therapy to come out of it.

GAD-2 Scale: Reliability and Validity

The results of the GAD-2 scale have been validated by multiple studies in various countries. GAD-7 and GAD-2 are the two scales that have been used widely for the clinical encounters of GAD symptoms in primary care centers. They both maintain a good level of sensitivity and specificity when it comes to the diagnosis of the most common anxiety disorders. In various research, GAD-2 scores showed the highest correlation with GAD-7 scores, which is also less time-consuming; that is why it is easy to use in primary care settings.


Anxiety disorders are the most undertreated and overlooked mental health problems in the current situation. Globally, an estimated amount of 284 million people with some anxiety disorder was recorded in 2017. Anxiety disorders like GAD can significantly affect your mental health and, in turn, your loss of productivity. Early diagnosis and proper therapy are the only solutions you can do to maintain inner harmony and lead a better life.

Feel free to get started with GAD-2 from our template library quickly.

Anxiety screening by a two-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD-2) FAQ

What is GAD-2?

GAD-2 is a two-item screening tool that can help identify individuals who may be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder. It is designed to help healthcare professionals quickly and accurately assess whether a person is likely to be suffering from GAD.

What are the two questions asked on the GAD-2?

The two questions asked on the GAD-2 are: 1) During the past two weeks, how often have you been feeling nervous, anxious, or stressed? and 2) During the past two weeks, how often have you been feeling hopeless or that nothing will ever get better?

Does the GAD-2 replace a full diagnostic evaluation?

No. The GAD-2 is intended to be used as a screening tool for GAD and is not a substitute for a full diagnostic evaluation. If the GAD-2 results indicate that the person is likely to be suffering from GAD, then a healthcare professional should refer them for a full diagnostic evaluation.

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Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


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