National health panel recommends anxiety screenings for adults under 65

Sep 20, 2022, 3:39 PM
Three out of 10 Utahns show symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety (Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — At a time when the world is still mentally reeling from the pandemic, a national health panel is recommending anxiety screenings for adults under 65.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force posted a draft on Tuesday recommending the screenings to help identify the early signs of anxiety since many disorders are under-detected in primary care. The draft will be published after a period of public comment.

The USPSTF’s drafted recommendation is for adults aged 19 through 64. The USPSTF said it didn’t have enough evidence to recommend anxiety screenings for anyone 65 or older.

There was no recommendation for the timing or frequency of the screenings, the task force said it didn’t have evidence to give that kind of guidance. The USPSTF did say that it would be a “pragmatic approach” for adults to get screened if they hadn’t done it before.

Kim Myers with Intermountain Healthcare said the screening recommendation is just the latest mental health-related guidance on the heels of the pandemic.

“This follows kind of a pattern of recommendations that include increased screening for mental health-related conditions within primary care and within the health care systems more broadly.”

Myers said anxiety became more prevalent everywhere because of the pandemic. And Utahns didn’t escape the change.

Myers said three out of 10 adults in Utah experience some kind of anxiety-related symptom.

“Having fear and worry and trouble sleeping and not knowing what’s going to happen in the future, that’s a pretty normal reaction to things like the pandemic,” Meyers said.

Myers says if you feel like you have symptoms of anxiety, ask for help, starting with your primary care doctor.


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National health panel recommends anxiety screenings for adults under 65