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A Treatment Algorithm for the Management of Anxiety in Primary Care Practice

Robert E. Hales, M.D., M.B.A., Donald A. Hilty, M.D., and Michael G. Wise, M.D.

Published: October 1, 1997

Article Abstract

Patients frequently present to primary care physicians with somatic symptoms that mask an underlyinganxiety disorder. As a result, unnecessary diagnostic tests are ordered, and inappropriate medicationsare prescribed. Psychiatrists may help improve their primary care colleagues’ ability toidentify and treat these anxiety disorders. This paper reviews the adverse effects of untreated anxietyin managed care settings and outlines a treatment algorithm that psychiatrists may wish to use to assistprimary care physicians in the cost-efficient, pharmacologic treatment of anxiety disorders in theirpatients.

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Volume: 58

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