Effects of psychotherapy for middle-aged individuals with anxiety disorders in a general medicine practiceEffects of psychotherapy for middle-aged individuals with anxiety disorders in a general medicine practice 総合診療科における中年期の不安障害患者に対する心理療法の効果
Background: Anxiety disorders are mental disorders that cause somatic symptoms for which patients may seek care from general
medicine departments. We focused on anxiety disorders in middle-aged patients and examined the effect of a psychotherapeutic
intervention. Materials and Methods: The participants were 14 middle-aged patients diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Patients received pretreatment assessments and were randomly assigned to a pharmacotherapy group (n = 8) or a pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy group (n = 6). The duration of the study was three months. Pre-and post-treatment, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and a visual analog scale (VAS) were administered. In the pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy group, salivary cortisol was collected pre- and post-psychotherapy at the first and final
psychotherapy sessions. Result: Four patients in the pharmacotherapy group withdrew from the study. There were no significant differences in the total
scores of the SF-36 or STAI between groups. Improvement was seen in the pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy group pre- and post- treatment. SF-36 subscales of bodily pain (p = 0.02) and mental health (p = 0.04) were significantly higher than posttreatment.
The state anxiety score on the STAI improved post-treatment (p = 0.03). On the VAS, the pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy group’s symptoms were significantly improved (p = 0.02). Conclusion: This suggests that psychotherapy for middle-aged individuals contributes to the improvement of anxiety states and HRQoL in general medicine departments. It promotes the recognition of curative effects and prevents doctor shopping.