Integrating pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy in the management of anxiety disorders

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Abstract

Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric conditions throughout the world, and they are responsible for considerable morbidity and functional impairment. Patients with these disorders make extensive use of medical resources, not only through their use of the mental health system but by frequent utilization of primary care and emergency medical services. Although it is common clinical practice to combine pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, some researchers have argued that this has not been shown effective in practice and is an inefficient use of limited mental health resources. This article will examine the evidence supporting integrative therapy for the major Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision anxiety disorders and discuss clinical considerations surrounding the use of combined therapies for anxiety.

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