Objective: The goal of this paper is to quantify and compare the frequency of the diagnosis of depression and anxiety in patients with a somatic reason for visit among primary care physicians across disciplines.
Keywords: mental health in primary care, somatic reason for visit, depression and anxiety
Furthermore, a somatic concern is listed as the reason for visit for more than half (57%) of all outpatient visits (Schappert, 1992).
The reported prevalence of depression and anxiety among adult primary care patients with any somatic reason for visit has been consistent in the literature.
Data is recorded by participating physicians that includes: patient demographics, reason for visit, medication prescribed, diagnosis, services ordered or provided (including whether or not a patient was screened for depression), and visit characteristics.
After restricting the analysis to visits to primary care physicians and then keeping only observations with a somatoform reason for visit, as defined above, we subdivided these visits into specific symptom categories.
The system electronically reads a visitor's ID (driver's license or business card) and captures relevant information in a secure database file, along with the name of the person being visited, reason for visit
, and entry and exit times, while printing a visitor badge in less than 20 seconds.