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A GP training package for the treatment of anxiety disorders is not cost-effective

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Question

Question:

Is an optimised primary care model for anxiety disorders cost-effective?

Patients:

Participants were 389 people aged between 18 and 65 years who were screened positive for having an anxiety disorder on the Patient Health Questionnaire and recruited from 46 primary care practices. People who were terminally ill or suicidal, with cognitive impairment, or who did not have an adequate command of German, were excluded from the trial.

Setting:

General practice in Germany. Recruitment dates were not reported, but baseline questionnaires were sent between January and March 2006.

Intervention:

A training package for general practitioners (GPs) based on a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approach used in psychiatry and current guidelines for treating anxiety disorders. Ten hours of training were provided over a 2-week period, and this included diagnosis, efficient pharmacotherapy guidelines, role play in counselling skills and information for the patient on diagnosis, treatment and relaxation. GPs were also offered a psychiatric consultation-liaison service for 6 months after the end of the training. This was a flexible service offered at short notice in the …

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