Promoting Early Identification and Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Primary Care Quality Improvement Project
Abstract BACKGROUND: Routine screening for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in the primary care setting is currently underused despite recommendations for routine screening to improve early identification and treatment. GAD is a mental health condition that is underdiagnosed despite the availability of a valid and reliable tool for use in the primary care setting. METHODS: A convenience sample of adult patients ≥18 years of age were screened for GAD at a community practice clinic using the newly implemented GAD-7 screening tool. The two providers and seven MAs were educated on the diagnosis of GAD, the importance of screening for GAD, and how to implement the GAD-7 screening tool via a poster board education session prior to implementation of screening. The five components of the diffusion of innovation theory (DOI) guided the quality improvement project to support the education and implementation of screening for GAD (with the GAD-7). The MAs administered the tool and followed up with the providers. The providers evaluated the score and further assessed the patients that scored ≥ 8 on the screening tool. The results were compared to patients diagnosed with GAD prior to implementation of the tool to compare the number of those diagnosed and referred for additional services. INTERVENTION: The GAD-7 screening tool was implemented at routine primary care visits to screen adults ≥ 18 years of age for symptoms of GAD. RESULTS: During the two months of pre-intervention, providers identified 20 new diagnoses of GAD and treated patients with medication. Post-intervention providers identified 99 new diagnoses of GAD with the GAD-7 85 patients were treated pharmacologically and 14 patients were solely referred for counseling services. CONCLUSION: The results of this QI project demonstrated not only considerable improvements in diagnosis and treatment of patients with GAD but also the inclusion of referrals to counseling services as part of the treatment plan for some patients. Screening for GAD increases and promotes early recognition, diagnosis, treatment, and referral for GAD.
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|Work Title||Promoting Early Identification and Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Primary Care Quality Improvement Project|
|License||Public Domain Mark 1.0|
|Publication Date||May 21, 2021|
|Deposited||April 30, 2021|
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