Establishment of Remission Criteria for Anxiety Disorders

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Anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder are typically chronic conditions associated with high health care costs and are often accompanied by psychiatric comorbidity, including major depressive disorder, substance abuse, and other anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are associated with significant functional impairment in social, vocational, and familial spheres and with diminished overall quality of life. The following clinical overview provides informal guidelines for identifying remission in patients with an anxiety disorder. A systematic approach to treatment that includes patient education, encouragement of exposure, attention to relevant comorbidities, use of empirically proven pharmacotherapies, and psychosocial interventions of adequate intensity and duration will improve outcomes and move patients toward marked improvement and remission.

J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64(suppl 15):40-45