All adult and adolescent women and girls should be screened for anxiety, according to a new recommendation from a coalition of women’s health groups.
The guidelines, issued by the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative, advise primary care doctors and other health providers to screen all female patients for anxiety disorders beginning at age 13.
The panel of medical experts noted that untreated anxiety can have a wide range of repercussions for women’s lives, and screening may lead to earlier and more effective treatment.
“Anxiety lives under the surface and can be very disabling, but it’s not easily picked up by clinicians,” says Dr. Heidi Nelson, an author of the report and a professor at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. “By asking a few questions, we have the ability to help people in a way that’s not possible unless we actually ask.”