RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
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A randomized trial to improve the quality of treatment for panic and generalized anxiety disorders in primary care.

CONTEXT: Panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder are prevalent in primary care, associated with poor functional outcomes, and are often unrecognized and ineffectively treated by primary care physicians.

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether telephone-based collaborative care for panic and generalized anxiety disorders improves clinical and functional outcomes more than the usual care provided by primary care physicians.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Four Pittsburgh area primary care practices linked by a common electronic medical record system. Patients A total of 191 adults aged 18 to 64 years with panic and/or generalized anxiety disorder who were recruited from July 2000 to April 2002. Intervention Patients were randomly assigned to a telephone-based care management intervention (n = 116) or to notification alone of the anxiety disorder to patients and their physicians (usual care, n = 75). The intervention involved non-mental health professionals who provided patients with psychoeducation, assessed preferences for guideline-based care, monitored treatment responses, and informed physicians of their patients' care preferences and progress via an electronic medical record system under the direction of study investigators.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Independent blinded assessments of anxiety and depressive symptoms, mental health-related quality of life, and employment status at baseline, 2-, 4-, 8-, and 12-month follow-up.

RESULTS: At 12-month follow-up, intervention patients reported reduced anxiety (effect size [ES], 0.33-0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.04 to 0.67; P
CONCLUSIONS: Telephone-based collaborative care for panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder is more effective than usual care at improving anxiety symptoms, health-related quality of life, and work-related outcomes.

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