Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Older Medical Patients: Diagnostic Recognition, Mental Health Management and Service Utilization
Background Primary care physicians often treat older adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Objective To estimate physician diagnosis and recognition of anxiety and compare health service use among older adults with GAD with two comparison samples with and without other DSM diagnoses. Methods Participants were 60+ patients of a multi-specialty medical organization. Administrative database and medical records were reviewed for a year. Differences in frequency of health service use were analyzed with logistic regression and between-subjects analysis of covariance. Results Physician diagnosis of GAD was 1.5% and any anxiety was 9%, and recognition of anxiety symptoms was 34% in older adults with GAD. After controlling for medical comorbidity, radiology appointments were increased in the GAD group relative to those with and without other psychiatric diagnoses, χ2 (2, N = 225) = 4.75, p < .05. Conclusions Most patients with anxiety do not have anxiety or symptoms documented in their medical records.
KeywordsGeneralized anxiety disorder Primary care Older patients Database study Medical record review
This project was supported by Grant Number R01MH053932 from the National Institute of Mental Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.
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