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Psychiatr Serv. 1996 Aug;47(8):864-6.

Evidence for limited validity of the revised global assessment of functioning scale.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


The study examined the concurrent validity of the revised Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale, which is highly similar to the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) in DSM-IV and which is designed to measure patients' functioning and not their clinical symptoms. Psychiatrists used the revised GAF to rate 337 psychiatric inpatients; the ratings were compared with nurses' ratings of the same sample using Lehman's Quality of Life Scale. Ratings on the revised GAF were most strongly correlated with ratings of clinical symptoms, not functioning. Reliance on the GAF as the only tool to assess patients' functioning may be problematic.

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