Social anxiety disorder in veterans affairs primary care clinics

Todd B. Kashdan, B. Christopher Frueh, Rebecca G. Knapp, Renée Hebert, Kathryn M. Magruder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


To examine the prevalence and correlates of social anxiety disorder (SAD) in veterans, 733 veterans from four VA primary care clinics were evaluated using self-report questionnaires, telephone interviews, and a 12-month retrospective review of primary care charts. We also tested the concordance between primary care providers' detection of anxiety problems and diagnoses of SAD from psychiatric interviews. For the multi-site sample, 3.6% met criteria for SAD. A greater rate of SAD was found in veterans with than without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (22.0% vs. 1.1%), and primary care providers detected anxiety problems in only 58% of veterans with SAD. The elevated rate of comorbid psychiatric diagnoses and suicidal risk associated with SAD was not attributable to PTSD symptom severity. Moreover, even after controlling for the presence of major depressive disorder, SAD retained unique, adverse effects on PTSD diagnoses and severity, the presence of other psychiatric conditions, and suicidal risk. These results attest to strong relations between SAD and PTSD, the inadequate recognition of SAD in primary care settings, and the significant distress and impairment associated with SAD in veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-247
Number of pages15
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Comorbidity
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Specificity
  • Suicidality
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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