Get Familiar with GAF Scoring System Standards and Aim

Global Assessment of Functioning is a scoring system that is used by Social Security Administration to define your mental status. Basically, mental health practitioners use it to record, analyse, and offer prognosis of how a person functions in their daily lives. Once this scale was used to assess the psychiatric illness impact on the patient’s functional abilities and skills on their life.

What is considered in determining the GAF scores?

Doctors consider the difficulty level in a person’s daily life functioning connected with –

  • Social
  • School
  • Occupational
  • Psychological

What is the aim of GAF scoring system?

When mental illness affects a person’s functioning skills, they need help. It can include 24/7 medical care or counselling. GAF score allows to decide how much help the person will need because of this mental illness. As the GAF system is used as standard criteria, one doctor tells another doctor the persons GAF count that instantly gives an idea on how much the mental issue affects the person.

To get an idea on how much a person’s daily life functioning is affected and its severity, the doctors gather several information through –

  • Discussions with the individual
  • Interview the person’s caretakers or family member’s
  • Review person’s medical history
  • Review person’s court or police records holding detailed behavioral record

Scoring system standards

Scores are numeric but scoring assessment is still subjective, means two doctors may differ in giving same person two distinctive scores. However, this is not possible because of the scoring system’s well-defined criteria.

  • 100 – 91: Great functioning with hardly any symptoms that damage their activities.
  • 90 – 81:Absent-minded minimal symptoms like nervousness before an examination.
  • 80 – 71:Slight deficiency in school or at work with infrequent signs that are anticipated responses of mental stressors.

  • 70 – 61:Mild symptoms like depressed mood or insomnia or little trouble in handling occupational, social or family situations.
  • 60 – 51:Moderate indications like sporadic panic attacks, or struggling to build good social relationship.
  • 50 – 41:Warning signs are grave like suicidal thoughts or grave, compulsive rituals or incapable of keeping a job.
  • 40 – 31: The person communicates like a psychosis, which affect life at school, home, and work. It even impacts the person’s mood, thoughts and judgment.
  • 30 – 21:The person experiences recurrent illusions or delusions or reveals brutally compromised judgment or communication. They are powerless to function in every activity, so they stay in bed whole day without any urge of maintaining good relationship.
  • 20 – 11:The individual is a danger to hurt their own selves or even others. It can be in the form of suicide attempts or show repeated violent behavior, or display major deficiency in communication like total silence or simply ramble.
  • 10 – 1:The person is a constant risk of either killing themselves or others.

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