Data Cart

Your data extract

0 variables
0 samples
View Cart
Severity of anxiety symptoms (GAD)

Codes and Frequencies

Can't find the category you are looking for? Try the Detailed codes


For sample adults, GADCAT indicates the severity of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms based on the responses to questions from the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) scale.

The GAD consists of seven questions that have the same response options. The response options are assigned points (0 for "Not at all," 1 for "Several days," 2 for "More than half the days," and 3 for "Nearly every day") and can be summed to create a total score between 0 and 21 to assess the severity of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms.

GADCAT categorizes the score for the GAD into four categories: None/Minimal (0-4), Mild (5-9), Moderate (10-14), and Severe (15 or greater). If one question was refused, not ascertained, or answered as don't know, the average of the other six questions was calculated and added to the summed total of those six questions to create a total score. If two or more questions were refused, not ascertained, or answered as don't know, then GADCAT was coded as not ascertained.

For researchers who want a continuous measure to indicate the severity of anxiety symptoms and intend to sum responses to the variables included in the GAD, IPUMS NHIS assigns codes that are consistent with the GAD's advised scoring system. To produce valid results, users must exclude not in universe cases (persons other than sample adults, code 6 in IPUMS NHIS) and unknown cases (codes 7, 8, and 9 in IPUMS NHIS) before summing the responses.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale 

The Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale can be used to screen and assess the severity of generalized anxiety disorder. The GAD also has moderate sensitivity when screening for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. GAD questions that are included as part of the NHIS are:

Over the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by...

  • feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge? (GADANX)
  • not being able to stop or control worrying? (GADWORCTRL)
  • worrying too much about different things? (GADWORMUCH)
  • being so restless that it's hard to sit still? (GADRSTLS)
  • becoming easily annoyed or irritable? (GADANNOY)
  • feeling afraid as if something awful might happen? (GADFEAR)


This variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 2019 2022: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2019, 2022