Screening for social anxiety disorder with the self-report version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale

Depress Anxiety. 2009;26(1):34-8. doi: 10.1002/da.20503.


Objective: This study examined whether the self-report version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS-SR) could accurately identify individuals with social anxiety disorder and individuals with the generalized subtype of social anxiety disorder. Furthermore, the study sought to determine the optimal cutoffs for the LSAS-SR for identifying patients with social anxiety disorder and its generalized subtype.

Methods: Two hundred and ninety-one patients with clinician-assessed social anxiety disorder (240 with generalized social anxiety disorder) and 53 control participants who were free from current Axis-1 disorders completed the LSAS-SR.

Results: Receiver Operating Characteristic analyses revealed that the LSAS-SR performed well in identifying participants with social anxiety disorder and generalized social anxiety disorder. Consistent with Mennin et al.'s [2002: J Anxiety Disord 16:661-673] research on the clinician-administered version of the LSAS, cutoffs of 30 and 60 on the LSAS-SR provided the best balance of sensitivity and specificity for classifying participants with social anxiety and generalized social anxiety disorder, respectively.

Conclusions: The LSAS-SR may be an accurate and cost-effective way to identify and subtype patients with social anxiety disorder, which could help increase the percentage of people who receive appropriate treatment for this debilitating disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pennsylvania
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Phobic Disorders / classification
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Phobic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult