Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Illness perception of anxiety patients in primary care in Singapore

1 National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, Singapore
2 James Cook University, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Yap Chee Khong,
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, 3 Fusionopolis Link, Nexus@one-north, South Tower, # 05-10
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_101_18

Background: The majority of people with anxiety tend to seek help in primary care. Patients' illness perception regarding their own anxiety can influence the assessment, treatment processes, and outcomes. This cross-sectional study explored possible relationships between patients' illness perception of their anxiety and the severity of their anxiety. Materials and Methods: Ninety-five patients with anxiety were recruited at two primary care clinics in Singapore. Their responses to the generalized anxiety disorder-7 (GAD-7) and illness perception questionnaire mental health (IPQ-MH) were examined with Spearman's rho correlation coefficients and multiple regression analyses. Results: Four illness perception subscales, i.e., consequences (rs= 0.23), personal control (rs= –0.27), coherence (rs= –0.22), and biological (rs= 0.34) significantly correlated to anxiety (P < 0.05). A multiple regression analysis identified that attribution to biological factors (β = 0.348, P =0.001) and attribution to personal control (β = -0.262, P =0.008) were significantly associated with anxiety. Conclusions: Interventions for anxiety reduction in primary care can be enhanced with methods that promote (1) patients' awareness of the reasons for their anxiety beyond mostly bodily ones to include psychosocial ones and (2) patients' confidence in their own capacity to influence their recovery.

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