Perceived helpfulness of treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: a World Mental Health Surveys report

Dan J Stein, Alan E Kazdin, Ayelet Meron Ruscio, Wai Tat Chiu, Nancy A Sampson, Hannah N Ziobrowski, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Ali Al-Hamzawi, Jordi Alonso, Yasmin Altwaijri, Ronny Bruffaerts, Brendan Bunting, Giovanni de Girolamo, Peter de Jonge, Louisa Degenhardt, Oye Gureje, Josep Maria Haro, Meredith G Harris, Aimee Karam, Elie G KaramViviane Kovess-Masfety, Sing Lee, Maria Elena Medina-Mora, Jacek Moskalewicz, Fernando Navarro-Mateu, Daisuke Nishi, José Posada-Villa, Kate M Scott, Maria Carmen Viana, Daniel V Vigo, Miguel Xavier, Zahari Zarkov, Ronald C Kessler

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Abstract

BackgroundTreatment guidelines for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are based on a relatively small number of randomized controlled trials and do not consider patient-centered perceptions of treatment helpfulness. We investigated the prevalence and predictors of patient-reported treatment helpfulness for DSM-5 GAD and its two main treatment pathways: encounter-level treatment helpfulness and persistence in help-seeking after prior unhelpful treatment.MethodsData came from community epidemiologic surveys in 23 countries in the WHO World Mental Health surveys. DSM-5 GAD was assessed with the fully structured WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0. Respondents with a history of GAD were asked whether they ever received treatment and, if so, whether they ever considered this treatment helpful. Number of professionals seen before obtaining helpful treatment was also assessed. Parallel survival models estimated probability and predictors of a given treatment being perceived as helpful and of persisting in help-seeking after prior unhelpful treatment.ResultsThe overall prevalence rate of GAD was 4.5%, with lower prevalence in low/middle-income countries (2.8%) than high-income countries (5.3%); 34.6% of respondents with lifetime GAD reported ever obtaining treatment for their GAD, with lower proportions in low/middle-income countries (19.2%) than high-income countries (38.4%); 3) 70% of those who received treatment perceived the treatment to be helpful, with prevalence comparable in low/middle-income countries and high-income countries. Survival analysis suggested that virtually all patients would have obtained helpful treatment if they had persisted in help-seeking with up to 10 professionals. However, we estimated that only 29.7% of patients would have persisted that long. Obtaining helpful treatment at the person-level was associated with treatment type, comorbid panic/agoraphobia, and childhood adversities, but most of these predictors were important because they predicted persistence rather than encounter-level treatment helpfulness.ConclusionsThe majority of individuals with GAD do not receive treatment. Most of those who receive treatment regard it as helpful, but receiving helpful treatment typically requires persistence in help-seeking. Future research should focus on ensuring that helpfulness is included as part of the evaluation. Clinicians need to emphasize the importance of persistence to patients beginning treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number392
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date9 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 9 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The WHO World Mental Health Survey collaborators are Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD; Ali Al-Hamzawi, MD; Mohammed Salih Al-Kaisy, MD; Jordi Alonso, MD, PhD; Yasmin A. Altwaijri, PhD; Laura Helena Andrade, MD, PhD; Lukoye Atwoli, MD, PhD; Corina Benjet, PhD; Guilherme Borges, ScD; Evelyn J. Bromet, PhD; Ronny Bruffaerts, PhD; Brendan Bunting, PhD; Jose Miguel Caldas-de-Almeida, MD, PhD; Gra?a Cardoso, MD, PhD; Somnath Chatterji, MD; Alfredo H. Cia, MD; Louisa Degenhardt, PhD; Koen Demyttenaere, MD, PhD; Silvia Florescu, MD, PhD; Giovanni de Girolamo, MD; Oye Gureje, MD, DSc, FRCPsych; Josep Maria Haro, MD, PhD; Meredith G. Harris, PhD; Hristo Hinkov, MD, PhD; Chi-yi Hu, MD, PhD; Peter de Jonge, PhD; Aimee Nasser Karam, PhD; Elie G. Karam, MD; Norito Kawakami, MD, DMSc; Ronald C. Kessler, PhD; Andrzej Kiejna, MD, PhD; Viviane Kovess-Masfety, MD, PhD; Sing Lee, MBBS; Jean-Pierre Lepine, MD; John J. McGrath, MD, PhD; Maria Elena Medina-Mora, PhD; Zeina Mneimneh, PhD; Jacek Moskalewicz, PhD; Fernando Navarro-Mateu, MD, PhD; Marina Piazza, MPH, ScD; Jose Posada-Villa, MD; Kate M. Scott, PhD; Tim Slade, PhD; Juan Carlos Stagnaro, MD, PhD; Dan J. Stein, FRCPC, PhD; Margreet ten Have, PhD; Yolanda Torres, MPH, Dra.HC; Maria Carmen Viana, MD, PhD; Daniel V. Vigo, MD, DrPH; Harvey Whiteford, MBBS, PhD; David R. Williams, MPH, PhD; Bogdan Wojtyniak, ScD.

Funding Information:
The Argentina survey -- Estudio Argentino de Epidemiología en Salud Mental (EASM) -- was supported by a grant from the Argentinian Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud de la Nación) - (Grant Number 2002–17270/13–5). The 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The São Paulo Megacity Mental Health Survey is supported by the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Thematic Project Grant 03/00204–3. The Bulgarian Epidemiological Study of common mental disorders EPIBUL is supported by the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Public Health Protection. EPIBUL 2, conducted in 2016–17, is supported by the Ministry of Health and European Economic Area Grants. The Colombian National Study of Mental Health (NSMH) is supported by the Ministry of Social Protection. The Mental Health Study Medellín – Colombia was carried out and supported jointly by the Center for Excellence on Research in Mental Health (CES University) and the Secretary of Health of Medellín. The ESEMeD project is funded by the European Commission (Contracts QLG5–1999-01042; SANCO 2004123, and EAHC 20081308), (the Piedmont Region (Italy)), Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain (FIS 00/0028), Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, Spain (SAF 2000–158-CE), Generalitat de Catalunya (2017 SGR 452; 2014 SGR 748), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (CIBER CB06/02/0046, RETICS RD06/0011 REM-TAP), and other local agencies and by an unrestricted educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline. Implementation of the Iraq Mental Health Survey (IMHS) and data entry were carried out by the staff of the Iraqi MOH and MOP with direct support from the Iraqi IMHS team with funding from both the Japanese and European Funds through United Nations Development Group Iraq Trust Fund (UNDG ITF). The Israel National Health Survey is funded by the Ministry of Health with support from the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research and the National Insurance Institute of Israel. The World Mental Health Japan (WMHJ) Survey is supported by the Grant for Research on Psychiatric and Neurological Diseases and Mental Health (H13-SHOGAI-023, H14-TOKUBETSU-026, H16-KOKORO-013, H25-SEISHIN-IPPAN-006) from the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The Lebanese Evaluation of the Burden of Ailments and Needs Of the Nation (L.E.B.A.N.O.N.) is supported by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, the WHO (Lebanon), National Institute of Health/Fogarty International Center (R03 TW006481–01), anonymous private donations to IDRAAC, Lebanon, and unrestricted grants from, Algorithm, AstraZeneca, Benta, Bella Pharma, Eli Lilly, Glaxo Smith Kline, Lundbeck, Novartis, OmniPharma, Pfizer, Phenicia, Servier, UPO. The Mexican National Comorbidity Survey (MNCS) is supported by The National Institute of Psychiatry Ramon de la Fuente (INPRFMDIES 4280) and by the National Council on Science and Technology (CONACyT-G30544- H), with supplemental support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Te Rau Hinengaro: The New Zealand Mental Health Survey (NZMHS) is supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, Alcohol Advisory Council, and the Health Research Council. The Northern Ireland Study of Mental Health was funded by the Health & Social Care Research & Development Division of the Public Health Agency. The Peruvian World Mental Health Study was funded by the National Institute of Health of the Ministry of Health of Peru. The Polish project Epidemiology of Mental Health and Access to Care –EZOP Project (PL 0256) was carried out by the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw in consortium with Department of Psychiatry - Medical University in Wroclaw and National Institute of Public Health-National Institute of Hygiene in Warsaw and in partnership with Psykiatrist Institut Vinderen–Universitet, Oslo. The project was funded by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. EZOP project was co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Health. The Portuguese Mental Health Study was carried out by the Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences, NOVA University of Lisbon, with collaboration of the Portuguese Catholic University, and was funded by Champalimaud Foundation, Gulbenkian Foundation, Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and Ministry of Health. The Saudi National Mental Health Survey (SNMHS) is conducted by the King Salman Center for Disability Research. It is funded by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Ministry of Health (Saudi Arabia), and King Saud University. Funding in-kind was provided by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning, General Authority for Statistics. The Psychiatric Enquiry to General Population in Southeast Spain – Murcia (PEGASUS-Murcia) Project has been financed by the Regional Health Authorities of Murcia (Servicio Murciano de Salud and Consejería de Sanidad y Política Social) and Fundación para la Formación e Investigación Sanitarias (FFIS) of Murcia. The US National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; U01-MH60220) with supplemental support from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; Grant 044708), and the John W. Alden Trust.

Funding Information:
The World Health Organization World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative is supported by the United States National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; R01 MH070884), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Pfizer Foundation, the United States Public Health Service (R13-MH066849, R01-MH069864, and R01 DA016558), the Fogarty International Center (FIRCA R03-TW006481), the Pan American Health Organization, Eli Lilly and Company, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. We thank the staff of the WMH Data Collection and Data Analysis Coordination Centres for assistance with instrumentation, fieldwork, and consultation on data analysis. None of the funders had any role in the design, analysis, interpretation of results, or preparation of this paper. The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent the views of the World Health Organization, other sponsoring organizations, agencies, or governments.

Funding Information:
In the past 3 years, RCK reports being a consultant for Datastat, Inc., RallyPoint Networks, Inc., Sage Pharmaceuticals, and Takeda. FNM reports non-financial support from Otsuka outside and not related to the submitted work. In the past 3 years LD has received untied educational grant funding from Indivior and Seqirus, not related to the submitted work. DJS has received research grants and/or honoraria from Lundbeck, Johnson & Johnson, Servier and Takeda. The remaining authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Patient-centered Outcomes
  • Pathways To Treatment
  • Treatment Helpfulness
  • Humans
  • Health Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Child
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Pathways to treatment
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Treatment helpfulness
  • Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology

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