Can General Assessment of Functioning (GAF) be used to measure recovery etc. from all mental health problems?

I know it's used with 'schizophrenia', but what about things like personality disorders, Dissociative Identity Disorder, etc.?

  • $\begingroup$ I edited out your second question "Does anyone know how each band (0-10, 11-20, etc.) is titled?" since the answer is easily found on Wikipedia. In case you need something different than Wikipedia, please elaborate and explain that in a new separate question. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Aug 23 '19 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ Furthermore, where did you learn GAF is used with schizophrenia? Adding a citation/link to this initial research you did would improve this question. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Aug 23 '19 at 11:56

Yes, the General Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score can be used for all psychiatric disorders.

The GAF is not commonly used now as the DSM V has opted for the WHODAS 2.0 instead of GAF. There were fundamental problems with GAF including poor reliability with people who were less trained, cross-cultural variations and symptom severity tended to influence symptom scoring instead of functional impairment (Gold, 2014). The DSM V also commented on their concerns -

We do not believe that a single score from a global assessment, such as the GAF, conveys information to adequately assess each of these components, which are likely to vary independently over time. Further, we are concerned about evidence that the GAF requires specific training for proper use, and that good reliability and prediction of outcomes in routine clinical practice may depend on such training (APA, 2013).


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Insurance Implications of DSM 5. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Gold, L. H. (2014). DSM-5 and the Assessment of Functioning: The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0). Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 42(2), 173–181.


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