- •Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, are often undertreated in pediatrics.
- •There is a need for improved screening and treatment for pediatric patients with anxiety.
- •Addressing anxiety in primary care is cost-effective and ideal for patients.
- •Cognitive behavioral therapy is a validated intervention for nurse practitioners to use.
Anxiety disorders are prevalent among children and adolescents, and they are often overlooked, undiagnosed, and undertreated. Screening for and addressing anxiety disorders in the primary care setting are ideal for both patients and providers because they can lead to improved care and patient outcomes. Cognitive behavior therapy, which helps patients identify and alter irrational thoughts, use coping skills, and manage somatic complaints, is an ideal intervention because it is easy to train providers in this therapy, and it is effective in decreasing anxiety symptoms.
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Elizabeth Coleman, MSN, CPNP-PC, is a nursing instructor, Marti Rice, PhD, RN, is a professor and Tedra S. Smith, DNP, CPNP-PC, is an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing in Birmingham, AL. Ms. Coleman can be contacted at [email protected]
Published online: March 14, 2023
In compliance with standard ethical guidelines, the authors report no relationships with business or industry that would pose a conflict of interest.
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