Article

Journal of behavioral assessment

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 265-279

First online:

Conceptual, methodological, and clinical issues in the assessment of anxiety disorders

  • Samuel M. TurnerAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
  • , Larry MichelsonAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

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Abstract

Many conceptual, methodological, and clinical issues remain unresolved in the assessment of anxiety disorders. Despite the prevalence, incidence, chronicity, and severity of anxiety disorders, research efforts and funding have fallen behind with regard both to other disorders and to addressing critical issues in the field. The primary objective of this paper is to provide a scientific critique regarding a number of often ignored yet salient considerations in anxiety-disorders assessment. Critical analyses of and recommendations regarding the multidimensional nature of anxiety, comorbidity, uniformity myths, synchrony, normative comparisons, psychometric properties of measures, and treatment integrity are offered. Finally, promising areas of clinical research are presented to enhance further the current understanding of the complexities inherent in assessing anxiety disorders.

Key words

anxiety assessment anxiety disorders methodology