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Compr Psychiatry. 2004 Mar-Apr;45(2):129-37.

Frequency and patterns of psychiatric comorbidity in a sample of primary care patients with anxiety disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Life Science II, Room 281, Mailcode 6502, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA.


The current report examines the rates of psychiatric comorbidity in a sample of 539 primary care patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-IV). Though not a typical psychiatric sample, rates of comorbidity were found to be as high or higher than those reported in studies conducted in traditional mental health settings. Multiple anxiety disorders were diagnosed in over 60% of participants and over 70% of participants had more than one current axis I diagnosis. Rates of current and lifetime comorbid major depression were also very high. Patterns of diagnostic comorbidity were also examined, with significantly elevated risks for the co-occurrence of several specific pairings of disorders being found. The study results are discussed in context of a recently published, large-scale study of anxiety disorder comorbidity in psychiatric patients (Brown et al., 2001). Implications of these results for both the mental health and primary care fields are also discussed.

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