Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Anxiety Web Site Gets Many Patients Closer to Treatment

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Anxiety Web Site Gets Many Patients Closer to Treatment

Article excerpt

ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- A Web site created as a resource for people seeking information about anxiety disorders can be adapted to incorporate screening for anxiety and depressive disorders, with affected individuals then being steered toward appropriate help.

The diagnostic yield of this anonymous Internet-based screening can be substantial, as illustrated by the experience at the McMaster University anxiety disorders clinic Web site (www.macanxiety.com), Dr. Michael Van Ameringen reported at the annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

He presented the findings of a survey of Web site visitors who accepted an online invitation to click on a link to MAC-SCREEN, a validated self-report screening tool Dr. Van Ameringen and his colleagues developed for all the anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, mania, psychotic disorders, and alcohol and substance use disorders.

Of 229 people who completed MAC-SCREEN since the link was added to the clinic's Web site, 90% met DSM-IV criteria for an anxiety or mood disorder, reported Dr. Van Ameringen, a psychiatrist at McMaster University Medical Center, Hamilton, Ont. Moreover, for most of the disorders, at least three-quarters of the people who met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria also had symptom severity scores placing them in the clinically significant range. This was assessed using widely accepted cutoffs on self-rated symptom severity measures, including the Panic and Agoraphobia Scale, the Social Phobia Inventory, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. …

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