Reliability and validity of the Panic Disorder Severity Scale: replication and extension

J Psychiatr Res. 2001 Sep-Oct;35(5):293-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3956(01)00028-0.


The Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) is a recently developed seven-item instrument to rate overall severity of Panic Disorder. The scale has previously shown good psychometric properties in a sample of Panic Disorder patients with no more than mild agoraphobia. The purpose of this paper is to confirm reliability and validity, to provide an estimate of a cut-score discriminating the presence or absence of current DSM-IV Panic Disorder, and to determine the factor structure of the instrument.

Procedures: 104 psychiatric outpatients, including 54 with current Panic Disorder, underwent structured diagnostic assessment and the PDSS interview. The PDSS was repeated within 3-17 days.

Results: we confirmed reliability and validity of the instrument and found a one-factor solution fit the data. A cut-off score of eight identifies patients with current panic with a sensitivity of 83.3%, and a specificity of 64%.

Conclusion: the PDSS is a simple, reliable instrument for use in Panic Disorder studies. A cut-score of eight may be useful as a tool to screen patients in settings such as primary care, for diagnosis-level symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / classification
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Panic Disorder / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity