Beliefs About Psychotropic Medication and Psychotherapy Among Primary Care Patients with Anxiety Disorders

Published in: Depression and Anxiety, v. 21, no. 3, June 17, 2005, p. 99-105

Posted on RAND.org on June 01, 2005

by Amy W. Wagner, Alexander Bystritsky, Joan Russo, Michelle G. Craske, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Murray Stein, Peter Roy-Byrne

Read More

Access further information on this document at onlinelibrary.wiley.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Primary health care clinics are increasingly providing psychiatric/psychological treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly for patients who do not have adequate access to specialty mental health services. Adequate treatment requires knowledge of and attention to patients' beliefs about available treatment options. The current investigation examined beliefs about psychotropic medications and psychotherapy among a sample of primary care patients with anxiety disorders. The influence of key demographic variables on strength of these beliefs was also explored. The presence of specific anxiety disorders was not found to impact strength of beliefs about either type of treatment. In contrast, there was a trend for the presence of depression to relate to more favorable attitudes toward psychotropic medication. Consistent with previous studies, ethnic minority patients reported less favorable attitudes toward both psychotropic medications and psychotherapy. These findings underscore the importance of assessing patient beliefs prior to the initiation of either psychotropic medications or psychotherapy across diagnostic and demographic groups. Practitioners should be particularly alert to the possibility that patients with anxiety disorders and members of ethnic minority groups may have less favorable attitudes toward treatment options. Treatment adherence may therefore be increased by addressing these beliefs directly.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.