Intended for healthcare professionals


New guidelines aim to increase recognition and treatment of anxiety disorders

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 26 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3311
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

New guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) urges GPs to be alert to possible anxiety disorders, particularly in people with a history of the condition or who have had a recent traumatic event.

The new guideline, Common mental health disorders: identification and pathways to care, says recognition of anxiety disorders is particularly poor in primary care and only a minority of people with anxiety disorders receive treatment.

Common mental health disorders such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder can affect up to 15% of the population at any time.

Launching the guidance, Steve Pilling, director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, said: “Only one in 10 people with anxiety disorder are picked up in primary care …

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