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.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health