'Don´t tell me that I am hysterical': Unmet needs of patients with panic disorder.

  Vol. 41 (7-8) 2021 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2021; 41(7-8): 370-384 PubMed PMID:  33754599    Citation

OBJECTIVES: In the new millennium, a growing focus on human rights and preserving individual autonomy urges the promotion of needs of the psychiatric patients. The topic of human needs takes its place also in patients with panic disorder. This review intended to explore current facts concerning the needs of the patients and present a broader understanding of patients' needs, due to the complexity of problems of patients with panic disorder. The text also focuses on psychosocial well-being and the quality of life of patients with panic disorder. METHODS: The PubMed was used to search for articles published between January 2000 and February 2020 using the following keywords: "panic disorder" or "agoraphobia" and "unmet needs" in combination with "pharmacotherapy" or "psychotherapy" or "cognitive behavioural therapy" or "family" or "quality of life." A total of 264 articles were selected by primary keyword picking in different combinations. Altogether 182 articles were reviewed. RESULTS: We identified the most important unmet needs of patients with panic disorder connected to symptoms, treatment and help-seeking, stigma and self-stigma, family and quality of life. To help the patients to improve the unmet needs connected with: (1) symptoms is to increase the awareness of treatment steps for patients and their families, good cooperation with therapists, and management of persistent symptoms, alleviation or elimination of anxiety symptoms, avoidance and safety behaviour. (2) treatment is the quick approach, effective one, not too difficult, without side effects and harmless, not requiring hospitalization and not disturbing the daily routine, increasing treatment compliance, improving patient self-confidence and an active social network, affordable health and social services and more suitable information for families; (3) stigma is to change of public opinion about people with mental health problems and to create effective antistigma programs; (4) family is to include the support for a functional and independent life, helping to manage everyday tasks and stop excessive protection, while reducing the stigmatization of the whole family. (5) the quality of life is to help to integrate into the community and improve the factors that affect the quality of life; like esteem, self-acceptance, social acceptance etc. CONCLUSIONS: This review aimed to explore the unmet needs in patients with panic disorder or agoraphobia. In selected articles we identified 5 basic unmet needs and described the basic strategies to cope with them. It is essential for every clinician to understand those needs as it can substantially help to alleviate patients' symptoms and improve their quality of life. The importance of this understanding further highlights that unmet needs described for panic disorder overlap with unmet needs of other psychiatric disorder and thus have broader utility.

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