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Diagnostic Validity in Genetics Research on Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Richard P. Swinson, MD; Brian J. Cox, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(11):916. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820230086008.
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Generalizeded in DSM-III-R1 bears only partial resemblance to the earlier description in DSM-III.2 With the exception of simple phobia, many patients with any anxiety disorder also meet DSM-III criteria for GAD.3 Therefore, DSM-III-R criteria require that the anxiety disorder for GAD be related to life circumstances other than another Axis I disorder and that the condition must persist for at least 6 months. The core feature of these "pure" patients with GAD is chronic worry,4 and the DSM-III-R states that these excessive or unrealistic worries involve two or more life circumstances. Unfortunately, we have found that few GAD treatment studies have actually followed these rules or have used structured interviews.5

A community-based twin study of GAD in women was published in the April 1992 issue of the Archives.6 We believe it is subject to the same methodological shortcomings that limit the validity of findings


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