Pilot psychotherapy program for the deprescription of benzodiazepines for anxiety disorders

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Abstract
Introduction: The objective was to implement a pre-experimental pilot psychotherapy program for benzodiazepine deprescription in patients with anxiety disorders in primary care.

Methods: Before-after clinical trial without a control group performed in two urban health centers. Patients aged 18-60 years with a diagnosis of anxiety disorder on benzodiazepine treatment were included. The program consisted of seven sessions of individual psychotherapy, and an individualized deprescription schedule. The Goldberg test and SF-12 questionnaire were administered in the first, third and final sessions.

Results: Of the 123 patients included, 107 (87%) finished the study, of whom 93 (86.9%) were women, with a mean age of 44.7 years. Most had generalized anxiety disorder diagnosed in the past year. After completing the program, benzodiazepines were withdrawn in 54 out of 86 participants (62.8%); in 14 (16.3%) the dose was decreased, in 6 (7.0%) the dose was maintained and in 12 (13.9%) the dose was increased. There were significant improvements in the mental dimension of the SF-12 and the Goldberg test score.

Conclusions: The intervention was useful in deprescibing benzodiazepines, reducing anxiety and improving the quality of life. Introducing such a program in primary care could allow a better approach to anxiety disorders, avoiding polypharmacy.
Keywords
Year of Publication
2022
Journal
Ansiedad y Estrés
Volume
28
Issue
1
Number of Pages
74-80
Date Published
02/2022
Type of Article
Journal Article
ISSN Number
1134-7937
ISBN Number
2174-0437
DOI
10.5093/anyes2022a8