Aims – Distress and functioning levels were compared in groups of patients diagnosed with: depression, mixed anxiety and depressive disorder; generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), agoraphobia, panic disorder; social phobia, or specific phobias.
Subjects – 67 non-treated patients participated in the study (20 men and 47 women aged from 18 to 71, median age 42 years).
Method – Diagnoses were made using a diagnostic questionnaire based on the Schedule for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN 2.0), distress was evaluated with the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30), while the patients' general functioning – by means of the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale.
Results – The mean GHQ score was 27 in the group with depression, ranging from 16 to 20 in anxiety disorders (except for specific phobias, where it declined to 7.5). The mean score on the GAF was 60 in depression, and 64-70 in anxiety disorders with the exception o(specific phobias, where it amounted to 77.5.
Conclusions – The research findings indicate that (1) more pronounced distress and functioning impairment result from depression than from anxiety disorders, (2) levels of distress and functioning in anxiety disorders (except for specific phobias) are much the same, with a slightly lower distress in GAD, (3) patients with specific phobias as compared to those with other anxiety disorders are less distressed and their functioning is less impaired.