Panic disorder in primary care: Patients' attributions of illness causes and willingness to accept psychiatric treatment

M. R. Johnson, P. B. Gold, L. Siemion, K. M. Magruder, B. Christopher Frueh, Alberto Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study assessed the causes that primary care patients with panic disorder (PD) attribute to their panic symptoms, and their acceptance of various psychiatric treatment options. Methods: In a cross-sectional assessment of 306 patients treated at two primary care clinics, 42 met criteria for DSM-IV PD in the past year. The authors classified these 42 PD-positive patients to one of two groups: those receiving both primary and specialty mental health care (PC+MH; n = 19) and those receiving only primary care (PC-only; n = 23). Patients rated the probability of four possible causes of their panic symptoms, and level of acceptability of three psychiatric and two medical treatments for PD. To place primary care patients' ratings into a broader context, a third contrast group of PD-positive patients, recruited from clinical trials of investigational PD pharmacotherapies (n = 31), also rated causes and treatment acceptability. Results: Participants of the three treatment groups attributed psychiatric causes for their panic symptoms in approximately the same proportion (78 percent to 90 percent; p = ns). PC-only participants attributed medical causes for panic symptoms more frequently than PC+MH and PD Clinical Trials participants (48 percent vs. 5 percent and 32 percent; p = .01). Remarkably, the great majority of patients across all groups expressed willingness to see psychiatrists (84 percent to 94 percent) and psychotherapists (95 percent to 100 percent), and to take psychotropic medications (87 percent to 100 percent). Conclusions: In this study most patients attributed a psychiatric cause for panic symptoms and communicated strong acceptance of psychiatric treatment. Thus, we recommend that primary care clinicians more assertively inform their patients of PD diagnoses and recommend psychiatric treatments with less fear about stigmatizing and alienating them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-384
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

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Panic Disorder
Psychiatry
Primary Health Care
Panic
Therapeutics
Clinical Trials
Mental Disorders
Psychotherapy
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Fear
Mental Health
Delivery of Health Care
Drug Therapy

Keywords

  • Acceptability of psychiatric treatment
  • Illness attributions
  • Panic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Panic disorder in primary care : Patients' attributions of illness causes and willingness to accept psychiatric treatment. / Johnson, M. R.; Gold, P. B.; Siemion, L.; Magruder, K. M.; Christopher Frueh, B.; Santos, Alberto.

In: International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, Vol. 30, No. 4, 01.12.2000, p. 367-384.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Johnson, M. R. ; Gold, P. B. ; Siemion, L. ; Magruder, K. M. ; Christopher Frueh, B. ; Santos, Alberto. / Panic disorder in primary care : Patients' attributions of illness causes and willingness to accept psychiatric treatment. In: International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. 2000 ; Vol. 30, No. 4. pp. 367-384.
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