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Psychosomatics. 1997 Mar-Apr;38(2):109-12.

Utilization of medical specialists by anxiety disorder patients.

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  • 1University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Kentucky, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the utilization of medical specialists by anxiety disorder patients. The setting was a university's clinical outpatient drug trails for anxiety disorders. The participants were subjects identified by advertisement and diagnosed by psychiatric interviews and, in some instances, also by structured interviews. The main outcome measures were the subject responses on a questionnaire listing medical specialists. A total of 94 subjects were surveyed. Primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) were seen more often by panic disorder (PD) subjects than by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) subjects. Gastroenterologists were seen most frequently by the GAD subjects; dermatologists and cardiologists by the OCD subjects; and otolaryngologists, obstetricians-gynecologists, neurologists, and urologists by the PD subjects. The PD subjects saw more specialists than the subjects with the other disorders. Medical specialists need to increase identification of patients with various anxiety disorders to relieve suffering, improve health care practices, and obtain favorable cost:benefit ratios.

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