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Introduction: The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale
(LSAS), used to assess the severity of social anxiety disorder (SAD), requires
considerable effort and time to complete. The aims of this study were: 1) to
investigate whether a visual analogue scale (VAS) could be linear with the LSAS
and substitute for the LSAS, 2) to relate such a VAS instrument to patient demographics.
Methods: Fifty SAD patients were assessed using the LSAS and VAS instruments
completed by both patients and doctors at the same session. We then drew
distributions and calculated the Spearman’s ρ and κ coefficient values (divided at
the median for each scale) between patient and doctor assessments. Next, each
pair among the scores for the LSAS, the patient VAS and the doctor VAS was
compared using Wilcoxon rank sum tests according to patient life profile data.
Results: Scatter plots of pairs of scores were obtained. Spearman’s ρ was 0.661 between the LSAS and the
patient VAS, 0.461 between the LSAS and the doctor VAS, and 0.494 between VAS
scores of patients and doctors. The κ coefficients were 0.501 between the LSAS and patient VAS, 0.251 between the
LSAS and doctor VAS, and 0.425 between patient VAS and doctor VAS (for all six,
p < 0.001). The Wilcoxon rank sum tests indicated a significant difference
between the groups with/ without “employment” (LSAS, patient/doctor VAS),
with/without “graduation from junior college/university” (doctor VAS) (p < 0.05)
and with/without marital history (the age of first consultation) (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: A patient VAS may substitute for the LSAS and offer the
versatility necessary to capture patient states and life profiles.