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The Sheehan Disability Scale is widely used not only in psychiatry but also in many other chronic medical illnesses because of its generic design. It measures impairment in functioning. The scale generates 4 scores: a work disability score, a social life disability score, a family life disability score and a total score. To get a total score add up the 3 individual scores (work: social life: family life). The maximum possible score is 30. Patients can complete it in the waiting room, before seeing their clinician.

It has been translated into 21 languages. In 7 of these 21 languages it is available in multiple dialects, for a total of 27 variants. In 14 of these 21 languages it is available in one form only. Altogether it is available in 41 languages or language variants.

Please note that many of these pdf translations asked that the disability be rated over the last 14 days, where the original version does not specify the time frame other than to make clear that it is the current time frame. This current time frame can vary from study to study but the past week is by far the most commonly used in most studies. Many translations also ask “the symptoms have disrupted your social life:” where the original asks “the symptoms have disrupted your social life / leisure activities:” Where possible I recommend that you adhere to the original time frame and wording. Many translations restrict the wording in the work module to “work”, where the original includes “work / school work”. Some have chosen to add a not applicable box to the work disability section. This is an acceptable variant as long as everyone who is not working because of a disability completes this module and does not use the “not applicable” option. Where any variants above are used, as required by the research design, they should be clearly identified as such in publications / data slides.


Harnett-Sheehan K, Sheehan DV. Assessing treatment effects in clinical trials with the Discan metric of the Sheehan disability Scale. International Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2008;23(2):70-83.

In Sheehan DV: The Anxiety Disease, Charles Scribner & Sons, New York, 1983, page 151.

Sheehan DV, Harnett-Sheehan K. Psychometric Assessment of Anxiety Disorders. Chapter 8 in Anxiety: Psychobiological and Clinical Perspectives (Sartorius N, Andreoli V, Cassano G, Eisenberg L, Kielholz P, Pancheri P, & Racagni G, eds. Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, Washington, DC. 1990; 85-100.

Sheehan DV, Harnett-Sheehan K, Raj BA. The measurement of disability. International Clinical Psychopharmacology. 1996; 11(suppl 3):89-95.

Leon AC, Shear MK, Portera L, Klerman GL. Assessing impairment in patients with panic disorder: the Sheehan Disability Scale. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 1992; 27:78-82.

Davidson, JRT, Potts N, Richichi E, et al. Treatment of social phobia with clonazepam and placebo. J Clin Psychopharmacol 1993; 13 (suppl 6):423-428.

Leon AC, Olfson M, Portera L, Farber L, Sheehan DV. Assessing psychiatric impairment in primary care with the Sheehan Disability Scale. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 1997; 27(2):93-105.

Olfson M, Kathol RG, Weissman MM, Sheehan DV, Leon AC, Hoven C. Mental Disorders and Disability in a Primary Care Group Practice. American Journal of Psychiatry. 1997; 154: 1734-1740.

Task Force for the Handbook of Psychiatric Measures. Disability Scale. Included in The Handbook of Psychiatric Measures. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press. 1999.

Mendlowicz MV, Stein MB. Quality of Life in Individuals with Anxiety Disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2000; 157:669-682.

Milrod B, Busch F, Leon AC, et al. Open Trial of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Panic Disorder: A Pilot Study. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2000; 157:1878-1880.

Translations: Afrikaans German USA Spanish

Argentinean Greek Venezuelan Spanish

Australian English Guatemalan Spanish Russian

Austria German Hebrew Russian for Israel

Belgian Dutch Hungarian Zulu

Belgian French Ibo

Brazilian Portuguese Italian

Canadian English Latvian

Canadian French Mexican Spanish

Chilean Spanish New Zealand English

Colombian Spanish Norwegian

Costa Rican Spanish Peruvian Spanish

Czech Polish

Danish Portuguese

Dutch South African English

English (USA) Spanish

Finnish Swedish

French UK English

We highly recommend that you use the translations of the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) done by MAPI Research Trust. Their website is http//:mapi- and . They are based in Lyon, France. You can contact Christelle Berne ( for information on this or additional translation projects on the SDS.


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