Article |

Untreated Anxiety Among Adult Primary Care Patients in a Health Maintenance Organization

Sheila K. Fifer, PhD; Susan D. Mathias, MPH; Donald L. Patrick, PhD, MSPH; Peter D. Mazonson, MD, MBA; Deborah P. Lubeck, PhD; Don P. Buesching, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51(9):740-750. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1994.03950090072010.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  Untreated anxiety may be particularly difficult for primary care physicians to recognize and diagnose because there are no reliable demographic or medical profiles for patients with this condition and because these patients present with a high rate of comorbid psychological conditions that complicate selection of treatment.

Method:  A prospective assessment of untreated anxiety symptoms and disorders among primary care patients.

Results:  Approximately 10% of eligible patients screened in clinic waiting rooms of a mixed-model health maintenance organization reported elevated symptoms and/or disorders of anxiety that were unrecognized and untreated. These patients with untreated anxiety reported significantly worse functioning on both physical and emotional measures than "not anxious" comparison patients; in fact these patients reported reduced functioning levels within ranges that would be expected for patients with chronic physical diseases, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure. The most severe reductions in functioning were reported by untreated patients whose anxiety was mixed with depression symptoms or disorders.

Conclusion:  Primary care physicians may benefit from screening tools and consultations by mental health specialists to assist in recognition and diagnosis of anxiety symptoms and disorders alone and mixed with depression.


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.