Recognizing Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care

With a lifetime prevalence of about 29%, anxiety disorders are one of the most common psychiatric disorders and the one-year prevalence rates are estimated at 14– 18%.

People with anxiety disorders are frequent users of emergency medical services and consult their general practitioners often. Nevertheless, according to a large number of epidemiological surveys, anxiety disorders are underdiagnosed in primary care. This is mainly caused by the fact that the patients often present predominant symptoms other than anxiety when consulting their doctor. However, identification and treatment of anxiety disorders are often difficult in general medical settings. The lack of common presentations with anxiety disorders and time constraints in the clinic setting pose challenges for medical providers within the primary care setting. When anxiety is left untreated, societal costs are substantive.


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