Disseminating treatment for anxiety disorders step 2: Peer recommendations to seek help

Jessica R. Schubert, Meredith E. Coles, Richard G. Heimberg, Barry D. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Despite the high prevalence of and significant psychological burden caused by anxiety disorders, as few as 25% of individuals with these disorders seek treatment, and treatment seeking by African-Americans is particularly uncommon. This purpose of the current study was to gather information regarding the public's recommendations regarding help-seeking for several anxiety disorders and to compare Caucasian and African-American participants on these variables. A community sample of 577 US adults completed a telephone survey that included vignettes portraying individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia/social anxiety disorder (SP/SAD), panic disorder (PD), and for comparison, depression. The sample was 1/2 Caucasian and 1/2 African American. Respondents were significantly less likely to recommend help-seeking for SP/SAD and GAD (78.8% and 84.3%, respectively) than for depression (90.9%). In contrast, recommendations to seek help for panic disorder were common (93.6%) and similar to rates found for depression. The most common recommendations were to seek help from a primary care physician (PCP). African Americans were more likely to recommend help-seeking for GAD than Caucasians. Findings suggested that respondents believed individuals with anxiety disorders should seek treatment. Given that respondents often recommended consulting a PCP, we recommend educating PCPs about anxiety disorders and empirically-supported interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-716
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Dissemination
  • Mental health literacy
  • Race
  • Treatment
  • Treatment-seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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