ABSTRACT: Objective. Panic disorder (PD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by spontaneous and unexpected panic attacks of varying frequency. Clinically manifest PD is widespread among the general population in developed countries worldwide. This study is aimed to identify factors influencing Taiwanese patients' decision to seek psychiatric help and to assess relationships between patients' health-seeking behaviors and quality of life (QOL). Methods. One hundred patients from the outpatient psychiatric clinic of a university hospital in Taiwan were evaluated for PD. Results. Delayed diagnosis of panic disorder, high comorbidity with other mental and physical disorders, and high utilization of health care services were identified. Thirty-three percent of PD patients sought alternative therapies, delaying their seeking psychiatric care. Conclusions. More PD patients in Taiwan seek care from family practitioners and alternative and complementary medicine than from psychiatrists. Taiwanese patients with PD who seek psychiatric consultation more than one year after disease onset have lower QOL and lower physical health scores.
International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 07/2012; · 0.43 Impact Factor