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6 March 2007 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians. These highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an embargoed copy of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2653, or 215-351-2653.

Anxiety Disorders Are Common in Primary Care and Much Undertreated

A study of 965 patients in a primary care setting found that nearly 20 percent had at least one of four main anxiety disorders and many had more than one anxiety disorder (Article, p. 317). Further, 41 percent of the patients with an anxiety disorder were not receiving treatment. Anxiety was associated with high levels of depression, functional impairment and high medical utilization. Researchers validated two simple tests that detected most patients with anxiety, regardless of type. Editorial writers say the researchers have “performed a large, descriptive study that shines a spotlight on a largely neglected disorder” (Editorial, p. 390).

Survey Finds Internists Perform Fewer and Less-Varied Procedures than in 1986

An American College of Physicians (ACP) survey of 990 general internists caring for adult patients in the office finds that the number and type of medical procedures general internists perform has decreased dramatically since a similar survey done in 1986 (Academia and Clinic, p. 355). On average, the percentage of general internists doing each of the 40 procedures included in the survey is less than half of that in 1986. The average number of different procedures done in practice decreased from 16 in 1986 to seven in 2004. As in 1986, internists who practice in smaller towns and smaller hospitals do twice as many procedures on average at those in larger cities and larger hospitals. Editorial writers say, “All internists should have access to the training needed to expertly pass needles, catheters, lines, and tubes to diagnoses and treat illnesses and to learn now to use new technology. Internists doing a procedure should do it frequently and do it well” (Editorial, p. 392).

Annals of Internal Medicine Launches ‘Reproducible Research’ Initiative, Asking Authors to Share Research Data, Protocol and Codes

(Online only. Will be published in the March 20, 2007, print edition.)

USPSTF Recommends Against Routine Use of Aspirin or NSAIDs to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

(Recommendations, p. 361; Aspirin Review, p. 365; NSAIDs and COX-2 Review, p. 376.)

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