Routine general practice care for panic disorder within the lifestyle approach to managing panic study

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Rodney A. Lambert *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Rodney A. Lambert | r.lambert@uea.ac.uk

Abstract

Routine general practice (GP) care is rarely comprehensively described in clinical trials. This paper examines routine GP care within the lifestyle approach to managing panic (LAMP) study. The aim of this paper is to describe/discuss routine GP care for panic disorder (PD) patients within both study arms in the LAMP study. An unblinded pragmatic randomised controlled trial in 15 East of England GP practices (2 primary care trusts). Participants met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for PD with/without agoraphobia. Follow-up measures recorded at 20 weeks/10 months following randomisation. Control arm, unrestricted routine GP care (practice appointments, referrals and prescriptions). Trial arm, occupational therapyled lifestyle treatment comprising lifestyle review of fluid intake, diet pattern, exercise, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Primary outcome measure: beck anxiety inventory. At baseline, participants attended 2-3 times more GP appointments than population average, reducing at 10 months to 1.6 times population average for routine GP care and 0.97 population average for lifestyle arm. At 10 months, 33% fewer referrals (6 referrals; 0 mental health) than at baseline (9 referrals; 2 mental health) were made for lifestyle arm patients compared with 42% increase (from 12 referrals; 8 mental health at baseline to 17 referrals; 7 mental health) in GP care arm. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were prescribed most often. Benzodiazepines and beta-blockers were prescribed more often than tricyclic against current clinical guidelines. In conclusion, we found that PD patients at baseline were high healthcare resource users. Treatment in both study arms reduced resource use. Routine GP care requires further review for this patient group.

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