Recognition of anxiety disorders by the general practitioner: Results from the DASMAP Study

Anna Fernández*, María Rubio-Valera, Juan A. Bellón, Alejandra Pinto-Meza, Juan Vicente Luciano, Juan M. Mendive, Josep Maria Haro, Diego J. Palao, Antoni Serrano-Blanco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The objectives were to determine the levels of general practitioner (GP) recognition of anxiety disorders and examine associated factors. Methods: An epidemiological survey was carried out in 77 primary care centers representative of Catalonia. A total of 3815 patients were assessed. Results: GPs identified 185 of the 666 individuals diagnosed as meeting the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) criteria for any anxiety disorder (sensitivity 0.28). Regarding specific anxiety disorders, panic disorder was registered in just three of the patients who, according to the SCID-I, did not meet the criteria for this condition .Generalized anxiety disorder was recorded by the GP in 46 cases, 4 of them being concordant with the SCID-I (sensitivity 0.03). The presence of comorbid hypertension was associated with an increased probability of recognition. Emotional problems as the patients' main complaint and additional appointments with a mental health specialist were associated with both adequate and erroneous recognition. Being female, having more frequent appointments with the GP and having higher levels of self-perceived stress were related to false positives. As disability increased, the probability of being erroneously detected decreased. Conclusion: GPs recognized anxiety disorders in some sufferers but still failed with respect to differentiating between anxiety disorder subtypes and disability assessment. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Epidemiology
  • General practitioner


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