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Feel afraid: past two weeks

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults, GADFEAR reports responses to the question, "Over the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by feeling afraid as if something awful might happen?"

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Scale 

GADFEAR is part of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale which 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. Additional 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)

The NHIS offers a categorical summary measure, GADCAT, that is based on the summed responses to the above GAD variables. Users can also sum these variables themselves to create a total score that can be used for analysis and assessing severity of symptoms. For more information on how to calculate the total score for the GAD, please see GADCAT.


This variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 2019 2022: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2019, 2022