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Anxiety help comes, eventually, via primary care
Date:11/7/2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] A new study by Brown University psychiatry researchers found that seven in 10 primary care patients with anxiety disorders eventually received potentially adequate medication or psychotherapy, but for many it took years to happen and it was considerably less likely for minorities.

In the five-year study of 534 people published online Nov. 4 in the journal Depression and Anxiety, researchers found that 28 percent of them were receiving "potentially adequate" medication (19 percent) or psychotherapy (14 percent) or both when first recruited into the study from one of 15 primary care sites in four New England states. By year five of follow-up, 69 percent had received either or both appropriate medication (60 percent) or psychosocial treatment, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (36 percent).

"The good news here was that eventually, most patients got some good treatment," said study lead author Risa Weisberg, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. "The bad news is that pharmacotherapy wasn't sustained for long periods of time, that cognitive-behavioral therapy was rarely received even over the longer time period, and that ethno-racial minorities were less likely to get good care."

Most studies of anxiety treatment adequacy have only looked at one time point and have therefore found very low levels of care. But anxiety disorders are often chronic and primary care providers typically have an ongoing relationship with patients, Weisberg said. This study looked at a longer term.

Another key feature of the study was that it measured the provision of "potentially adequate" therapy. In the case of medication, that meant a drug had to have known efficacy and be taken at an adequate dose for enough time. For psychotherapy, the authors defined cognitive therapy or behavioral therapy as potentially adequate based on the metho
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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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