A Review of Scales to Measure Social Anxiety Disorder in Clinical and Epidemiological Studies

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016 Apr;18(4):38. doi: 10.1007/s11920-016-0677-2.


To advance research into social anxiety disorder (SAD) and provide efficacious treatments for individuals with SAD, researchers and clinicians must have effective assessment instruments for identifying the disorder in terms of its diagnostic criteria, symptoms, and the presence of specific maintaining factors. This review highlights the main lines of existing adult and youth research on scales that form part of diagnostic instruments that assess SAD, scales that measure social anxiety symptoms, and scales that measure theory-based psychological maintaining factors associated with SAD. The review also highlights methodological issues that impact on the use of the aforementioned scales. The continued refinement and comparative evaluation of measures for SAD, culminating in the ascertainment of optimal measures, will improve the assessment and identification of the disorder. Improved identification of the disorder will contribute to the advancement of SAD research and treatment.

Keywords: Assessment; Measures; Psychometric; Social anxiety; Social anxiety disorder; Social phobia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Fear*
  • Humans
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*