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25-02-2015 | Mental health | Article

OASIS reliably detects outpatient anxiety change

medwireNews: Study findings support the use of the Overall Anxiety Severity And Impairment Scale (OASIS) as a brief measure of anxiety in the outpatient clinical setting.

The research, reported in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that the OASIS strongly correlated with related measures of anxiety, such as the Outcomes Questionnaire, among 347 patients seeking treatment at a mental health specialty centre. The majority (81%) of patients met DSM-IV criteria for one or more anxiety disorders.

A score of eight or more out of a possible 20 on the five-item survey was the optimal cutoff threshold for the presence or absence of anxiety disorder, with sensitivity and specificity values of 69% and 55%, respectively.

Moreover, a decrease of 4 points or more was found to indicate a “reliable improvement” in anxiety symptoms, while an increase of 4 points or above indicated “reliable deterioration”, say Sally Moore, from Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle in Washington, USA, and co-authors.

When scores at intake and at repeat assessment 6 months later were compared for the patients, the researchers found that the majority of change occurred early in the course of treatment and, again, change measured by OASIS strongly correlated with that detected by other measures.

“The current study provides further support for the use of the OASIS as a brief, accessible, transdiagnostic measure of anxiety severity and associated functional impairment”, Moore et al summarise.

They conclude: “As a brief measure that is applicable across anxiety-related presentations and adequately responds to clinical change, the OASIS is particularly well-suited to applications in clinical practice and psychotherapy effectiveness research.”

By Lynda Williams

medwireNews is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2015

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