Anxiety symptoms are common among primary care patients. Research has demonstrated the efficacy of behavioral interventions for anxiety delivered in primary care; however, anxiety continues to be under-treated. One way to improve utilization of anxiety treatment in primary care is to consider patient preferences. Assessing patient treatment preferences is an important first step when providing treatment from a patient-centered care framework, which may be associated with greater treatment utilization, retention, and adherence. This study aimed to describe patient preferences for anxiety treatment in primary care and explore correlates of those preferences. Participants were 144 Veterans (83% male, 85% White) from primary care who endorsed current anxiety symptoms in the past two weeks (GAD7 score ≥8). Participants completed self-report measures of demographics, mental health symptoms, treatment-related characteristics (e.g., readiness to change) and indicated their preference for 11 attributes of anxiety treatment (method, type, location, format, provider, approach to psychotherapy, symptom focus, topic/skill, and number, frequency, and duration of sessions) via mailed survey. Chi-squared and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine relationships between each variable and preference for treatment attribute on a bivariate and multivariate level. Patients preferred face-to-face (60%) individual treatment (61%) with a behavioral health provider (49%) in primary care (43%), occurring once a month (42%) for 45-60 minutes (40%). They preferred a stress management approach (32%) including psychoeducation (21%) and focus on worry/racing thoughts (27%). Correlates of treatment method, type, location, frequency, and duration will be presented. The format of integrated primary care matches well with patients’ anxiety treatment preferences. Assessing patients’ symptom and treatment profiles may help inform treatment recommendations. Results have implications for both behavioral health providers and primary care providers, as greater knowledge of patient preferences may lead to improvement in utilization of interventions for anxiety in primary care.
- Identify patient preferences for a variety of anxiety treatment attributes
- Identify demographic, mental health, and treatment specific correlates of anxiety treatment preferences
- Discuss the benefits of the incorporating data on patient preferences into clinical practice