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Factors predicting the clinical course of generalised anxiety disorder

  • Kimberly A. Yonkers (a1), Ingrid R. Dyck (a2), Meredith Warshaw (a2) and Martin B. Keller (a2)
Abstract
Background

Cross-sectional data show that generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic condition with episodes lasting much longer than the six-month minimum required by DSM–III–R and DSM–IV. Although GAD is chronic, little is known about factors influencing illness duration.

Aims

To investigate variables that influence the clinical course of GAD.

Method

A total of 167 patients with GAD participated in the Harvard–Brown Anxiety Research Program. Patients were assessed at intake and re-examined at six- to twelve-month intervals for five years. Kaplan–Meier curves were constructed to assess the likelihood of remission. Regression analysis was used to investigate factors predicting full or partial remission.

Results

The rate of remission was 0.38 after five years. Diminished likelihood of remission was associated with low overall life satisfaction, poor spousal or family relationships, a concurrent cluster B or C personality disorder and a low global assessment score.

Conclusions

Full or partial remissions were less likely to occur in patients with poor relationships and personality disorders. These patients should be given more intensive and possibly multi-modal therapy.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Kimberly A. Yonkers, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 15 Honeysuckle Hill Lane, Easton, CT 06612, USA. Tel: (203) 452-9762; fax: (203) 452-9762; e-mail: Kim-Charlie@worldnet.att.net
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Declaration of interest

Practical support from the Upjohn Company and the National Institute of Mental Health (see Acknowledgements).

Footnotes
References
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  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Factors predicting the clinical course of generalised anxiety disorder

  • Kimberly A. Yonkers (a1), Ingrid R. Dyck (a2), Meredith Warshaw (a2) and Martin B. Keller (a2)
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