GAF is a 100-point tool rating overall psychological,

Discussion in 'VA Procedures' started by rainvet, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    Re: Gaf Score Persistently Higher
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    GAF is a 100-point tool rating overall psychological, social and occupational functioning of people over 18 years of age and older. It excludes physical and environmental impairment.
    The GAF is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) in the section on multi-axial assessments.

    91-100 Superior functioning in a wide rage of activities, life's problems never seem to get out of hand, is sought out by others because of his or her many qualities. No symptoms.
    90-81 Absent or minimal symptoms, good functioning in all areas, interested and involved in a wide range or activities, socially effective, generally satisfied with life, no more than everyday problems or concerns.
    80-71 If symptoms are present they are transient and expectable reactions to psychosocial stresses; no more than slight impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning
    70-61 Some mild symptoms OR some difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning, but generally functioning pretty well, has some meaningful interpersonal relationships.
    60-51 Moderate symptoms OR any moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning.
    50-41 Serious symptoms OR any serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning.
    40-31 Some impairment in reality testing or communication OR major impairment in several areas, such as work or school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood.
    30-21 Behavior is considered influenced by delusions or hallucinations OR serious impairment in communications or judgment OR inability to function in all areas.
    20-11 Some danger or hurting self or others OR occasionally fails to maintain minimal personal hygiene OR gross impairment in communication.
    10-1 Persistent danger of severely hurting self or others OR persistent inability to maintain minimum personal hygiene OR serious suicidal act with clear expectation of death.

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    A GAF is a Global Assessment of Functioning that the professionals in the mental health department have come up with an indicator of your mental functioning at a specific time.

    GAF's are dynamic. They change from day to day and even from hour to hour as it depends on how you are functioning at that particular time.

    Mental health professionals typically assign a GAF score on their patients every time they visit with them.

    You can look at the DSM-IV for the specifics. Or, they are listed in the PTSD section.

    When patients start getting around 32 and below then they are near the point they need to be hospitalized. Obviously, the GAF can be higher or lower and the patient still need to be in the hospital. In reality, there is not a big big difference between 37 and 47 for a GAF, but the lower the GAF the less the patient is able to deal with reality and the world around them.


    A GAF score is nothing more than what your behaviors and moods are at any particular time that you see a clinician. By rule a clinician is to generate a GAF score at each visit.

    All the GAF scales and information that you can read will not tell you why it goes up or down. So let me pose these Question to you.

    What medications are you taking and how long have you taken them them? You may be on a medication that helps stabilize your mood.

    Is there any particular turn of events that may influence your behavior or moods to the better, i.e, new girlfriend. new child or grandchild, etc.

    What is your specific mental disorder? There are hundreds of mental disorders and no one GAF score will be the same across all levels. Did you get a SOFAS (Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale) or GARF (Global Assessment of Relational Functioning) score?

    A GAF score limited to just the current GAF is of little use in making determinations of mental health behavior. You also need the combination of the other 2 scales to get a better picture of all levels of functioning for a GAF to have relevance.

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