Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS)

7 question scale to grade panic disorder severity


The Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) is a brief, clinician rating scale that was developed in 1997 with the promise of becoming a standard global rating scale for panic disorder. The PDSS has become a simple, efficient way for clinicians to rate severity and treatment progress in patients with established diagnoses of panic disorder. The PDSS, is modeled after the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale so, it contains items that assess the severity of seven dimensions of panic disorder and associated symptoms: the frequency of panic attacks, distress during panic attacks, anticipatory anxiety, agoraphobic fear and avoidance, interoceptive fear and avoidance, impairment of or interference in work functioning; and impairment of or interference in social functioning.

In the first study of its performance, this scale demonstrated adequate internal consistency and reliability, excellent inter-rater reliability, good discriminant validity and sensitivity to change. A replication study with a new set of patients confirmed its reliability and convergent and discriminant validity, and added information about cut-off scores to discriminate patients with/without current panic disorder and severity. It’s useful for a clinical as it can gauge response and remission of treatment. The scale has gained wide acceptance and has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Hungarian, Finnish, Serbo-Croatian, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, with satisfactory reliability and validity, comparable to the original English version.


Shear MK, Brown TA, Barlow DH, et al.

American Journal of Psychiatry 1997, 154 (11): 1571-5

Furukawa TA, Katherine shear M, Barlow DH, et al.

Depression and Anxiety 2009, 26 (10): 922-9

Houck PR, Spiegel DA, Shear MK, Rucci P.

Depression and Anxiety 2002, 15 (4): 183-5

The Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) calculator is created by QxMD.

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1. How many panic and limited symptoms attacks did you have during the week?

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