Prevalence of anxiety disorders among Finnish primary care high utilizers and validation of Finnish translation of GAD-7 and GAD-2 screening tools

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2014 Jun;32(2):78-83. doi: 10.3109/02813432.2014.920597. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Objective: To analyse the prevalence of GAD and other anxiety disorders, as well as sensitivity and specificity of GAD-7 among high utilizers of health care.

Setting: Four municipal health centres in Northern Finland.

Subjects: A psychiatric interview was conducted for 150 high utilizers of health care.

Main outcome measures: Prevalence of GAD as well as sensitivity and specificity of GAD-7.

Results: The prevalence of GAD was 4% in this study group of Finnish high utilizers of health care. The sensitivity of GAD-7 was 100.0% (95% CI 54.1-100.0) and the specificity of GAD-7 was 82.6% (95% CI 75.4-88.4) with a cut-off point of 7 or more.

Conclusion: GAD is rather common among high utilizers of primary care, although the prevalence of 4% is lower than that previously reported. GAD-7 is a valid and useful tool for detecting GAD among primary health care patients.

Keywords: Anxiety disorders; Finland; general practice; generalized anxiety disorder; high utilizers of health care; panic disorder; screening.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Translations