Principal Investigator: Sophiya Benjamin, M.D.; Co-Investigators: Nathaniel R. Herr, Ph.D.; Jennifer McDuffie, Ph.D.; John W. Williams Jr., M.D., M.H.Sc
Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) Center Durham VA Medical Center
Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; August 2011
Download PDF: Complete Report, Executive Summary, Report, Appendices
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) are two common mental illnesses that present in primary care clinics, often with physical symptoms that can inhibit appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Recognition of these disorders by primary care physicians is much lower than the expected ratesï¿½in part due to somatic presentations but also due to the lack of routine screening that is in place for some other mental illnesses. Patients with anxiety disorders are often high utilizers of health care resources, and when their anxiety disorders are not diagnosed and treated, they can frequently undergo more expensive testing to rule out medical causes.
Identification of accurate and feasible screening instruments for GAD and PD that have been validated in primary care settings have the potential to improve detection and facilitate treatment of these disorders within the primary care clinic, or to generate appropriate referral. Our report is a systematic review of the literture to evaluate the performance of self-report instruments used to diagnose GAD and PD in primary care settings.