Health-related quality of life and utilities in primary-care patients with generalized anxiety disorder

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Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is prevalent and significantly impacts patient health-related quality of life (HRQL) and disability.


This study evaluated the effect of GAD and anxiety symptom severity on the HRQL of primary-care patients with GAD.


Patients 18 years or older with GAD were recruited from an integrated health care delivery system. Clinical assessments included the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), GAD Questionnaire-IV (GAD-Q-IV), and the Patient Health Questionnaire depression module (PHQ). HRQL was assessed by the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire—Short Form (Q-LES-Q-SF), Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), SF-12 Health Survey (SF-6D), and the Health Utilities Index (HUI2, HUI3).


The sample included 297 patients, 72% women with mean ± standard deviation (SD) age of 47.6 ± 13.7 years. At baseline, the mean HAM-A score was 16.8 ± 7.6 (suggesting the presence of moderate anxiety symptoms). Anxiety and depression symptoms were significantly correlated with mental component summary (MCS), Q-LES-Q-SF, SDS, SF-6D, HUI2, and HUI3 scores (all P < 0.001). The mean HRQL and all of the preference-based measures varied significantly by anxiety severity groups (all P < 0.001). Anxiety and depression symptoms significantly predicted HRQL and preference-based scores (R2 values ranged from 0.22 to 0.57).


Anxiety symptoms reported by GAD patients resulted in significant impairment to HRQL and functional outcomes.

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