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Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Dec;143(12):1569-74.

Use of mental health services for the treatment of panic disorder.


The author reports the results of five studies of panic disorder undertaken as part of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). This program involves community samples in New Haven, Conn. (N = 5,034), Baltimore (N = 3,481), St. Louis (N = 3,004), Durham, N.C. (N = 3,921), and Los Angeles (N = 3,132). Diagnoses were based on the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule and DSM-III. Panic disorder led the list of disorders for which subjects in the five studies received ambulatory mental health services. Treatment rates for panic disorder were as high as or higher than those for somatization disorder, schizophrenia, and major affective disorders. Furthermore, panic attacks may have been the reason that many subjects with other disorders sought treatment.

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