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Use of Algorithms to Treat Anxiety in Primary Care

Larry Culpepper, MD, MPH

Published: February 1, 2003

Article Abstract

The presentations of anxiety in primary care are more numerous and broader in spectrum than thepresentations of depression, and the primary care physician is often faced with the challenge of teasingout a diagnosis from the full spectrum of anxiety disorders. A treatment algorithm that begins withrecognition and diagnosis and carries the primary care physician and patient through long-term treatmentand, finally, withdrawal of treatment can be a useful and appropriate tool. Use of an algorithmtargeted specifically for primary care physicians treating patients with anxiety disorders would insurethat 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.

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