Symptomatic severity of prime-MD diagnosed episodes of panic and generalized anxiety disorder in primary care

Bruce L. Rollman, Bea Herbeck Belnap, Sati Mazumdar, Fang Zhu, Kurt Kroenke, Herbert C. Schulberg, M. Katherine Shear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Panic disorder (PD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are often unrecognized by primary care physicians (PCPs). The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) has been used as a case-finding instrument for depression. Yet, little is known on its usefulness as a case-finding tool for anxiety disorders within the context of a clinical trial. OBJECTIVE: To examine the: (1) completion rate of the PRIME-MD by patients approached to enroll in a treatment study for PD and GAD; (2) distribution of anxiety diagnoses generated: (3) severity of PD and GAD episodes thus identified: and (4) level of PCPs' agreement with these diagnoses. DESIGN: Cross-sectional interview. PATIENTS: Individuals aged 18 to 64 who presented for care at 4 primary care practices. MEASUREMENTS: The PRIME-MD. Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (SIGH-A), and the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS). RESULTS: Of the 6,700 patients who completed the PRIME-MD Patient Questionnaire (PQ). 2.926 (44%) screened positive for an anxiety disorder, and 1.216 (42%) met preliminary study eligibility and consented to the PRIME-MD Anxiety Module. Of these. 619 (51%) had either GAD (308), PD (94), or both (217) disorders. Later, 329 completed a telephone interview. Of these, 59% with GAD and 68% with PD reported moderate or greater levels of anxiety symptoms on the SlGH-A and PDSS, respectively, and PCPs agreed with the PRIME-MD diagnosis for 98% of these patients. CONCLUSIONS: The PRIME-MD can efficiently screen patients for PD and GAD. Although patients thus identified endorse a wide range of anxiety symptoms. PCPs often agree with the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-628
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005


  • Anxiety
  • Electronic medical record system
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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