Bottom Line: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for anxiety in children and adolescents ages 8 to 18 and concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to make a recommendation about screening children age 7 or younger. Anxiety disorder, a common mental health condition in the United States, comprises a group of related conditions characterized by excessive fear or worry that present as emotional and physical symptoms. A 2018-2019 survey found that 7.8% of children and adolescents ages 3 to 17 had a current anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence are associated with an increased likelihood of a future anxiety disorder or depression. The USPSTF routinely makes recommendations about the effectiveness of preventive care services and this is a new recommendation.
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Note: More information about the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, its process, and its recommendations can be found on the newsroom page of its website.
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Media advisory: To contact the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, email the Media Coordinator at Newsroom@USPSTF.net or call 301-951-9203. The full report and related articles are linked to this news release.
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