Treatment of anxiety disorders by psychiatrists from the American Psychiatric Practice Research Network

Katherine Sorsdahl, Carlos Blanco, Donald S. Rae, Harold Pincus, William E. Narrow, Sharain Suliman, Dan J. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in the United States, and if untreated, result in a number of negative outcomes. This study aimed to investigate psychiatrists' current treatment practices for patients with anxiety disorders in the United States. Methods: Psychiatrist-reported data from the 1997 and 1999 American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education Practice Research Network (PRN) Study of Psychiatric Patients and Treatments (SPPT) were examined, focusing on patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Information related to diagnostic and clinical features and treatments provided were obtained. Results: Anxiety disorders remain underdiagnosed and undertreated, since only 11.4% of the sample received a principal diagnosis of an anxiety disorder in a real world setting. Posttraumatic stress disorder was associated with particularly high comorbidity and disability, and social anxiety disorder was relatively rarely diagnosed and treated. Although combined pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy was commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, anxiolytics were more commonly prescribed than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Conclusions: These data provide a picture of diagnosis and practice patterns across a range of psychiatric settings and suggest that anxiety disorders, despite being among the most prevalent of psychiatric disorders remain underdiagnosed and undertreated particularly in respect of the use of psychotherapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Treatment characteristics
  • Treatment setting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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