The Autonomic Nervous System Questionnaire and the Brief Patient Health Questionnaire as screening instruments for panic disorder in Finnish primary care.
PURPOSE: As panic disorder often remains unrecognized in the health care system, some screening methods have been developed to enhance its recognition. The aim of this study was to test and compare the Autonomic Nervous System Questionnaire (ANS) and the Brief Patient Health Questionnaire (BPHQ) in primary care. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total sample of 211 primary care outpatients was studied. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV was the criterion standard for the presence of panic disorder. Indices of diagnostic utility for both screening methods were calculated and compared. RESULTS: The AUC (area under the ROC curve) was 0.885 for the ANS and 0.877 for the BPHQ. At the optimal cut-off level, the ANS had the sensitivity of 0.88 and specificity of 0.77; the BPHQ had the sensitivity of 0.79 and the specificity of 0.87. There was not any statistically significant difference between the screens. CONCLUSIONS: Both screening methods can be recommended both for clinical practice and research use. In busy primary care practice, the BPHQ may be more useful, as it can be used together with the depression module of the BPHQ. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.