Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Primary Care: The Precursor/Modifier Pathway to Increased Health Care Utilization




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Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is commonly seen in the primary care setting and is associated with disability, medically unexplained symptoms, and over utilization of health care resources. The authors review the rare occurrence of GAD uncomplicated by other psychiatric illness and the important relationship between GAD and depression. They suggest that GAD may exert its major effect on health care utilization not by a direct path, but by acting as a precursor or concurrent modifier of other psychiatric disorders that more directly affect health care costs.

J Clin Psychiatry 1997;58(suppl 3):34–38