Panic disorder in public sector primary care: Clinical characteristics and illness severity compared with “mainstream” primary care panic disorder
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Depression and Anxiety
Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 51–57, 2003
How to Cite
Roy-Byrne, P. P., Russo, J., Cowley, D. S. and Katon, W. J. (2003), Panic disorder in public sector primary care: Clinical characteristics and illness severity compared with “mainstream” primary care panic disorder. Depress. Anxiety, 17: 51–57. doi: 10.1002/da.10082
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2003
- Article first published online: 28 FEB 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 OCT 2002
- Manuscript Received: 14 JUN 2002
- low income;
- primary care;
- panic disorder
The prevalence of anxiety disorders is increased among low-income individuals, who are more likely to seek mental health care in medical as opposed to specialty settings because of limited insurance access and restricted availability of public sector mental health resources. However, little is known about the clinical characteristics and illness severity of anxiety disorders in this setting. We studied the clinical characteristics of low-income compared with middle-income primary care panic patients. Clinical, functional, and service use measures obtained at baseline interview in 39 panic disorder patients seen in one public sector medical clinic were compared with 76 patients seen in two middle-income clinics. All patients were participants in a randomized effectiveness pharmacotherapy trial [Roy Byrne et al., Arch Gen Psychiatry 2001;58:869–876]. Public sector patients were more often older, male, single, unemployed, of lower income, and non-Caucasian ethnicity. They had more severe clinical symptoms, more medical comorbidity, worse physical and role health status, and more emergency room visits. Low income and unemployment accounted for most of the differences in non-anxiety–related measures. However, type of clinic still contributed independently to the greater severity of specific measures of panic/anxiety (Panic Disorder Severity Scale and Marks Fear Scale scores), suggesting that the increased stress and limited social resources associated with low-income and disadvantaged status may have more specific effects on anxiety than other aspects of psychopathology. Depression and Anxiety 17:51–57, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.