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July 3, 1981

Tranquilizers not overprescribed for anxiety

JAMA. 1981;246(1):14. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320010008004

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A majority of recently surveyed Texas physicians believe their formal training in the management of anxiety has been inadequate. What's more, they are staunchly conservative in terms of handing out minor tranquilizers to their anxious patients.

In fact, the survey, carried out by Carl D. Chambers, PhD, associate professor and director of Health Services Administration at Ohio University, Athens, and colleagues showed that 67% of the 150 physicians interviewed do not believe that removal from the market of minor tranquilizers, particularly benzodiazepines, would restrict their ability to practice. Only 6% feel that prescribing of benzodiazepines is the most effective means of addressing persistent anxiety.

The majority of physicians interviewed think that office counseling is the most effective means of managing anxiety, but almost two out of three believe they did not receive sufficient training in this phase of medicine in school or during internship or residency.

The survey was prompted