JOURNAL ARTICLE
PRACTICE GUIDELINE
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Screening for Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.

JAMA 2022 October 12
Importance: Anxiety disorder, a common mental health condition in the US, comprises a group of related conditions characterized by excessive fear or worry that present as emotional and physical symptoms. The 2018-2019 National Survey of Children's Health found that 7.8% of children and adolescents aged 3 to 17 years had a current anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence are associated with an increased likelihood of a future anxiety disorder or depression.

Objective: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review to evaluate the benefits and harms of screening for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. This is a new recommendation.

Population: Children and adolescents 18 years or younger who do not have a diagnosed anxiety disorder or are not showing recognized signs or symptoms of anxiety.

Evidence Assessment: The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening for anxiety in children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years has a moderate net benefit. The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient on screening for anxiety in children 7 years or younger.

Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends screening for anxiety in children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years. (B recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for anxiety in children 7 years or younger. (I statement).

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