Physical Health Outcomes in Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Principal Investigator: Lilly Brown, PhD

Anxiety disorders are related to poor physical health, but few research studies and treatment centers investigate the effect of cognitive behavior therapies, which are highly effective at reducing anxiety disorder symptoms, on improving physical health in patients with anxiety disorder. Cognitive variables, like distress tolerance, are implicated in the maintenance of anxiety, but are understudied in relation to physical health in anxiety disorders. Emerging research suggests that incorporating technology like those afforded by the Way to Health platform improve clinical assessment.

The purpose of this study is to assess the acceptability of the Way to Health patient portal in patients seeking anxiety disorder treatment compared to assessment as usual. The Way to Health portal will include data from the following: physical health indices from the Withings health monitor and nursing assessments, responses to electronic momentary assessment (eMA) text messaging prompts, self-report and clinician-interview anxiety disorder symptom ratings, and cognitive/psychophysiological assessments. Specific aims include: 1. To implement and assess the acceptability (primary outcome) of Way to Health patient portals compared to assessment as usual in the comprehensive assessment of physical, psychological and cognitive variables. 2: To examine whether incorporating eMA text message prompts are acceptable for clinicians and patients with anxiety disorder (secondary outcome). 3: Within those randomized to Way to Health, we will examine the relationship between cognitive behavior therapy, anxiety disorder symptoms, physical health indices, and cognitive outcomes.