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1. Aas IH: Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF): properties and frontier of current knowledge. Ann Gen Psychiatry; 2010;9:20
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  • [Source] The source of this record is MEDLINE®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  • [Title] Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF): properties and frontier of current knowledge.
  • BACKGROUND: Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) is well known internationally and widely used for scoring the severity of illness in psychiatry.
  • Problems with GAF show a need for its further development (for example validity and reliability problems).
  • The aim of the present study was to identify gaps in current knowledge about properties of GAF that are of interest for further development.
  • Properties of GAF are defined as characteristic traits or attributes that serve to define GAF (or may have a role to define a future updated GAF).
  • METHODS: A thorough literature search was conducted.
  • RESULTS: A number of gaps in knowledge about the properties of GAF were identified: for example, the current GAF has a continuous scale, but is a continuous or categorical scale better?
  • Scoring is not performed by setting a mark directly on a visual scale, but could this improve scoring?
  • Would new anchor points, including key words and examples, improve GAF (anchor points for symptoms, functioning, positive mental health, prognosis, improvement of generic properties, exclusion criteria for scoring in 10-point intervals, and anchor points at the endpoints of the scale)?
  • Is a change in the number of anchor points and their distribution over the total scale important?
  • Could better instructions for scoring within 10-point intervals improve scoring?
  • Internationally, both single and dual scales for GAF are used, but what is the advantage of having separate symptom and functioning scales?
  • Symptom (GAF-S) and functioning (GAF-F) scales should score different dimensions and still be correlated, but what is the best combination of definitions for GAF-S and GAF-F?
  • For GAF with more than two scales there is limited empirical testing, but what is gained or lost by using more than two scales?
  • CONCLUSIONS: In the history of GAF, its basic properties have undergone limited changes.
  • Problems with GAF may, in part, be due to lack of a research programme testing the effects of different changes in basic properties.
  • Given the widespread use, research-based development of GAF has not been especially strong.
  • Further research could improve GAF.

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  • (PMID = 20459646.001).
  • [ISSN] 1744-859X
  • [Journal-full-title] Annals of general psychiatry
  • [ISO-abbreviation] Ann Gen Psychiatry
  • [Language] eng
  • [Publication-type] Journal Article
  • [Publication-country] England
  • [Other-IDs] NLM/ PMC2880316
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