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GADIS aims at determining the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depression (MD) in primary care and their impact on the patient’s functioning in Belgium and Luxemburg.
A large scale screening program was conducted at the consultation of general practitioners to detect patients with GAD and MD according to DSM-IV criteria. We collected additional data regarding the use of hypnotic, tranquilizer, antidepressant and analgesic medications. Impact on the patient was assessed with the Sheehan disability scale.
Three hundred GP’s in Belgium and Luxemburg were asked to screen 50 consecutive patients. Of the 13,677 analyzed patients, 8.3% were diagnosed to have GAD and 6.3% MD. Comorbidity was observed in 4.2% of patients. The prevalence was much higher in the French-speaking part of Belgium. GAD and MD were associated with impairment in social, familial and professional functioning. Only a minority of patients with GAD and/or MD was treated with an antidepressant and almost half of subjects with GAD and/or MD were treated with a tranquilizer.
Prevalence rates of GAD and MD in primary care in Belgium are comparable to other countries. GAD and MD are disabling conditions. Antidepressants are still used only in a minority of subjects with GAD and/or MD in primary care in Belgium and Luxemburg. The prevalence of GAD and MD appears to be much higher in French-speaking parts of Belgium.
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