Skip to content

    Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Panic Disorder Often Undertreated

    Experts Question the Quality of Primary Care for Panic Disorder
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Sept. 15, 2006 -- Many people with panic disorder may not be getting top-notch treatment from their primary care doctors.

    So say Peter Roy-Byrne, MD, and colleagues in The Lancet.

    Roy-Byrne works in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at the University of Washington School of Medicine at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

    "Panic disorder is a common mental disorder that affects up to 5% of the population at some point in life," write Roy-Burne and colleagues.

    Without treatment, panic disorder may be disabling and can seriously affect quality of life. But treatments, including antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy, may help.

    In cognitive behavioral therapy, panic disorder patients learn constructive ways to think about and manage fear and panic.

    People generally first seek help for panic disorder from their primary care doctors. But those doctors may not be delivering an adequate level of care for panic disorder, say the researchers.

    Of people seeking help for panic disorder from their primary care doctors, only an estimated 19% to 40% get the minimum standard of treatment, Roy-Burne's team writes.

    The researchers also note "many other barriers" to panic disorder treatment.

    Those barriers include "uncertainty about where to seek help, insufficient organization of primary care to treat chronic disease, and problems with insurance coverage and concerns about cost of care [especially in the USA]," write the researchers.

    They add that "new approaches are needed to overcome these barriers and to improve delivery of health care for patients with panic disorder."

    In the journal, Roy-Burne and colleagues note ties to various drug companies.

    Today on WebMD

    young leukemia patient
    Article
    Unhappy couple
    Article
     
    embarrassed woman
    SLIDESHOW
    clown
    Quiz
     
    Phobias frightened eyes
    Slideshow
    podium
    Article
     
    organize
    Article
    stressed boy in classroom
    Article
     
    Distressed teen girl in dramatic lighting
    Article
    man hiding with phone
    Article
     
    chain watch
    Article
    tarantula
    Article