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J Psychiatr Res. 2001 Sep-Oct;35(5):293-6.

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

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Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


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.


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.


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%.


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.

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