Recent Advances in Pediatric Medicine

Treating Anxiety in Children

Author(s): Kristine Schmitz, Mi-Young Ryee and Leandra Godoy

Pp: 299-312 (14)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681085203117010023

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Pediatric providers can play a key role in the early identification and treatment of anxiety. Brief screening tools can be used to enhance detection and differentiation of anxiety symptoms. Once identified, providers can triage concerns to determine the best course of action, including treatment setting (primary care versus referral to an outpatient provider) and intervention approach (cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication management). Distraction and parent education can be effective tools to reduce short-term anxiety associated with office-based procedures. More longterm treatment of anxiety, either within primary care or in community-based settings, can vary depending on presenting concerns and the child’s age. However, evidencebased approaches typically include psychoeducation, cognitive behavioral therapy, recognition and management of physical cues of anxiety, cognitive restructuring, exposures, relapse prevention, and collaboration with parents and schools. Medication may be a useful way to augment treatment in certain circumstances.

Keywords: Anxiety in children, Anxiety treatment, Co-located mental health, Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Pediatrics, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

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