Psychological Medicine

Original Article

The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale: a comparison of the psychometric properties of self-report and clinician-administered formats

D. M.  FRESCO  a1, M. E.  COLES  a1, R. G.  HEIMBERG  c1 a1, M. R.  LIEBOWITZ  a1, S.  HAMI  a1, M. B.  STEIN  a1 and D.  GOETZ  a1
a1 From the Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; Anxiety Disorders Clinic, New York State Psychiatry Institute, and Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY; and Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, CA, USA


Background. The clinician-administered version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS-CA) is a commonly used assessment device for the evaluation of social anxiety disorder and has been shown to have strong psychometric characteristics. Because of its apparently straightforward rating format and potential savings in time and effort, interest in the use of the LSAS as a self-report (LSAS-SR) measure has increased, and the LSAS-SR has been used in a number of studies. However, the psychometric properties of the LSAS-SR have not been well established.

Methods. This study examined the psychometric properties of the LSAS-SR in comparison to the LSAS-CA in a sample of 99 individuals with a primary diagnosis of social anxiety disorder and 53 individuals with no current psychiatric disorder.

Results. There was little difference between the two versions of the LSAS on any scale or subscale score. Both forms were internally consistent and the subscale intercorrelations for the two forms were essentially identical. Correlations of each LSAS-SR index with its LSAS-CA counterpart were all highly significant. Finally, the convergent and discriminant validity of the two forms of the LSAS was shown to be strong.

Conclusion. Results of this study suggest that the self-report version of the LSAS compares well to the clinician-administered version and may be validly employed in the assessment of social anxiety disorder.

c1 Address for correspondence: Professor Richard G. Heimberg, Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University, Temple University, 419 Weiss Hall, 1701 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085, USA.