Use of Algorithms to Treat Anxiety in Primary Care

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The presentations of anxiety in primary care are more numerous and broader in spectrum than the presentations of depression, and the primary care physician is often faced with the challenge of teasing out a diagnosis from the full spectrum of anxiety disorders. A treatment algorithm that begins with recognition and diagnosis and carries the primary care physician and patient through long-term treatment and, finally, withdrawal of treatment can be a useful and appropriate tool. Use of an algorithm targeted specifically for primary care physicians treating patients with anxiety disorders would insure that patients in the primary care setting receive the best care during treatment of anxiety disorders, while primary care physicians become better able to serve a broader community.

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64(suppl 2):30-33