The course will review some of the most common uses of the GAF especially related to those that have dramatically increased its popularity. These include its use in treatment decisions by many managed care organizations, its use being mandated by the VA Medical Center system, as well as its inclusion in the Workers’ Compensation Reform legislation in California in 2005. The course will discuss, in detail, the problems associated with the GAF in its current form. Being aware of the problems and weaknesses of any assessment can help a clinician arrive at a more valid result and avoid any pitfalls. Areas of problems that have been pointed out with the GAF in the research literature include: (1) The scale collapses three dimensions of function into one score; (2) The reliability of the scale is not good except for clinicians who have undergone extensive training as part of research projects; and, (3) the GAF shows essentially no predictive validity. Being aware of these important issues is important to help the clinician use the GAF properly.
- Explain the four step GAF scoring method
- Describe the history of the GAF beginning with the HSRS (1962)
- List the three major problem categories with the GAF
- List four methods of improving the quality of a GAF rating
- Discuss suggestions for improving the GAF