Age and racial differences in the presentation and treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in primary care

Gretchen A. Brenes, Mark Knudson, W. Vaughn McCall, Jeff D. Williamson, Michael E. Miller, Melinda A. Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Despite the prevalence and impact of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in the primary care setting, little is known about its presentation in this setting. The purpose of this study is to examine age and racial differences in the presentation and treatment of GAD in medical patients. Participants were recruited from one family medicine clinic and one internal medicine clinic. The prevalence of GAD was lowest for older adults. Age differences were found in the presentation of GAD, with young adults reporting greater cognitive symptoms of anxiety, negative affect, and depressive symptoms. African-Americans with GAD reported more positive affect and lower rates of treatment. The lower levels of negative affect and depressive symptoms reported among older adults may affect the recognition of GAD by primary care physicians. Further research is needed to better understand the causes of racial differences in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1136
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Age differences
  • Anxiety
  • Elderly
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Racial differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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