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Health literacy about pharmacological treatment in anxiety disorders: a systematic review

Health literacy about pharmacological treatment in anxiety disorders: a systematic review
Health literacy about pharmacological treatment in anxiety disorders: a systematic review
OBJECTIVE: Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions, but many affected individuals neither seek professional help nor adhere to recommended pharmacological treatments. Increasing the health literacy of people with (or at risk of) anxiety disorders may encourage treatment-seeking and adherence to recommended interventions. Aims of this study were to review the literature relating to health literacy in the treatment of anxiety disorders, focusing on results on public opinion on psychotropic medications and its effectiveness in improving access to psychiatric health care and the actual use of medications.

METHODS: A computerized literature search of the published literature on mental health literacy was undertaken, focusing on the question of whether increased mental health literacy led to increased treatment-seeking and pharmacotherapy adherence in individuals with anxiety disorders.

RESULTS: Twelve relevant articles were identified. All reported that improving mental health literacy leads to raised awareness, and in 10 out of 12 studies, increased help-seeking. However, there is currently no unequivocal evidence to show that increasing health literacy leads to increased use of medication in any psychiatric disorder, including anxiety disorders. Two studies show that knowledge of presumed biological mechanisms can predict use of psychotropic medication, including antidepressants, in psychiatric disorders, however, not specifically in anxiety disorders.

CONCLUSION: There have been few investigations of health literacy focused on psychotropic medications. Given the prevalence, burden and sub-optimal recognition, and treatment of anxiety disorders, further work is needed to determine whether increased mental health literacy is associated with treatment-seeking and medication adherence in patients with these disorders.
0885-6222
211-215
Palazzo, M.C.
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Dell'Osso, B.
332b88d9-62a1-4f7b-8cd6-f5824a0a6b13
Altamura, A.C.
fceb1a27-796f-4084-a385-8e6a03073fd6
Stein, D.J.
908f8238-f5e4-4ea1-9f19-9be45feea5b6
Baldwin, D.S.
1beaa192-0ef1-4914-897a-3a49fc2ed15e
Palazzo, M.C.
bb51cbd3-aa35-4d4e-a0ea-0930a1c2151e
Dell'Osso, B.
332b88d9-62a1-4f7b-8cd6-f5824a0a6b13
Altamura, A.C.
fceb1a27-796f-4084-a385-8e6a03073fd6
Stein, D.J.
908f8238-f5e4-4ea1-9f19-9be45feea5b6
Baldwin, D.S.
1beaa192-0ef1-4914-897a-3a49fc2ed15e

Palazzo, M.C., Dell'Osso, B., Altamura, A.C., Stein, D.J. and Baldwin, D.S. (2014) Health literacy about pharmacological treatment in anxiety disorders: a systematic review. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 29 (3), 211-215. (doi:10.1002/hup.2397).

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions, but many affected individuals neither seek professional help nor adhere to recommended pharmacological treatments. Increasing the health literacy of people with (or at risk of) anxiety disorders may encourage treatment-seeking and adherence to recommended interventions. Aims of this study were to review the literature relating to health literacy in the treatment of anxiety disorders, focusing on results on public opinion on psychotropic medications and its effectiveness in improving access to psychiatric health care and the actual use of medications.

METHODS: A computerized literature search of the published literature on mental health literacy was undertaken, focusing on the question of whether increased mental health literacy led to increased treatment-seeking and pharmacotherapy adherence in individuals with anxiety disorders.

RESULTS: Twelve relevant articles were identified. All reported that improving mental health literacy leads to raised awareness, and in 10 out of 12 studies, increased help-seeking. However, there is currently no unequivocal evidence to show that increasing health literacy leads to increased use of medication in any psychiatric disorder, including anxiety disorders. Two studies show that knowledge of presumed biological mechanisms can predict use of psychotropic medication, including antidepressants, in psychiatric disorders, however, not specifically in anxiety disorders.

CONCLUSION: There have been few investigations of health literacy focused on psychotropic medications. Given the prevalence, burden and sub-optimal recognition, and treatment of anxiety disorders, further work is needed to determine whether increased mental health literacy is associated with treatment-seeking and medication adherence in patients with these disorders.

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Published date: May 2014
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367918
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367918
ISSN: 0885-6222
PURE UUID: 685ee198-3c46-413a-a368-2fc65e2d1cfb
ORCID for D.S. Baldwin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3343-0907

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Date deposited: 20 Aug 2014 14:52
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:44

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Contributors

Author: M.C. Palazzo
Author: B. Dell'Osso
Author: A.C. Altamura
Author: D.J. Stein
Author: D.S. Baldwin ORCID iD

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