Background: The prevalence of anxiety disorders in primary care is 20%, with 41% of these patients reporting no current treatment. Patients with anxiety are also more likely to have comorbidities with other medical and/or psychiatric conditions, increasing medical costs. Integrating mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) into a group medical visit (GMV) format has been successfully used to manage pain, but limited literature is available on the effectiveness of these visit formats for patients with stress and anxiety. Methods: Ninety-two adult patients with self-reported stress and/or anxiety were recruited from three university outpatient primary care clinics between 2016 and 2019. Participants attended at least 4 of 6 weekly GMVs focused on MBIs. Change in heart rate, blood pressure, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) score, and 9 item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score from the first to last visit were evaluated using mixed effect linear regression models. Results: Both GAD-7 (estimated change: -5.1; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -6.4 to -3.7) and PHQ-9 (estimated change: -3.3; 95% CI: -4.3 to -2.2) scores significantly decreased from the first to last visit. These reductions were independent of age, sex, and number of visits attended. No significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure were found. Conclusions: Significant reductions in anxiety and depression in primary care patients were observed after a 6-week standardized mindfulness based GMV. Intergroup variability was not significant indicating that the intervention is reproducible over time and across providers. Future randomized controlled trials with appropriate controls will better evaluate which components of the intervention account for findings.
View details for DOI 10.1089/jicm.2021.0329
View details for PubMedID 35671517