Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;27(4):236-41.

Predictors of early or late treatment seeking in patients with social anxiety disorder.

Author information

Psychiatry Department, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Çapa, Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey. E-mail:



Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is common in the general population and usually begins at an early age. It is well established that patients with SAD rarely seek treatment, and their first treatment contact usually takes many years after onset. The aim of this study was to determine the predictors of early and late treatment seeking in patients with SAD.


This study enrolled 180 patients with generalized SAD. The mean and median durations between the emergence of SAD and first treatment contact were 15 and 14 years, respectively. Multiple linear regression with the backward elimination method was applied to assess the factors that affect the amount of time between occurrence of the disorder and first treatment contact.


Older age, earlier onset of SAD, and lower level of education were associated with late treatment seeking, whereas earlier onset of comorbid major depressive episodes and lifetime history of comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder were associated with earlier treatment seeking.


Age of onset, comorbid psychiatric conditions, and level of education are associated with the timing of treatment seeking in patients with SAD. It is important to try to change the common perception that SAD is a personality trait rather than a psychiatric disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontline Medical Communications Inc
Loading ...
Support Center