Panic Disorder Screener (PADIS)

Usage: No permission required - please cite reference

This scale is designed to screen individuals in the community for presence of panic disorder and severity of panic disorder symptoms.

A sudden feeling of anxiety, fear, discomfort or uneasiness may indicate a panic episode. A panic episode occurs unexpectedly, peaks within 10 minutes and includes four or more of the following sensations at the same time:

  • Skipping, racing or pounding heart
  • Sweating or clammy hands
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • A choking feeling or lump in your throat
  • Chest pain, pressure or discomfort
  • Nausea or stomach problems
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded or faint
  • Feeling strange, unreal, detached or unfamiliar
  • Fear that you are losing control or going crazy
  • Fear that you are dying
  • Feeling tingling or numbness
  • Hot flushes or chills






11 or more

Based on this description, about how many panic episodes have you experienced in the past month?

Note: Respondents who respond “None” to the first item skip all remaining items and score zero.





All the time

In the past month, how often have you been worried about having another panic episode?

In the past month, how often have you been worried about the consequences of having another panic episode?

In the past month, how often did you avoid places, situations or activities because you were afraid of having or triggering a panic episode? (For example, not going to public places alone, not leaving your house, avoiding physical exertion or avoiding stressful activities.)


The first item is rated on a 5-point Likert scale scored 0-4, while remaining items are rated on a 4-point Likert scale score 0-3. Severity scores are obtained by summing responses to all items, with scores ranging from 0-13.

The PADIS has been validated in a community-based sample of young Australians aged 18-30 (n = 12,336), with accuracy compared to diagnostic interview (social phobia caseness on the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview) in a subsample of 1,674 with elevated anxiety symptoms.


Using a cut-off score of 4 or higher to indicate criteria for panic disorder, the PADIS had 77% sensitivity and 84% specificity, with higher sensitivity but lower specificity compared to the PHQ-Panic scale (57% sensitivity, 91% specificity). In an independent adult population-based sample, the PADIS had 84% sensitivity and 77% specificity compared to DSM-5 criteria, using the same criteria (PADIS>=4).

Norms & psychometric properties

Internal consistency: The PADIS had high internal consistency (Cronbach alpha = 0.86).

Factor structure: All five items loaded on single factor accounting for 78% of variance, with loadings of 0.73 or higher.

Population norms: The mean severity score within the population-based sample of young people was 1.66 (sd = 2.47). Scores were not significantly different by age or gender in this sample.

Key references

Batterham PJ, Mackinnon AJ, Christensen H. (2015). The Panic Disorder Screener (PADIS): Development of an accurate and brief population screening tool. Psychiatry Research, 228, 72-76.

Updated:  21 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Executive Support Officer