GPs have until 17 August to offer their opinion on the recommendations, which seek to update guidelines published in 2004.
Christine Carson, programme director for NICE’s Centre for Clinical Practice, said new evidence had arisen since the guidelines were originally published that necessitated a review.
The key recommendations in the draft guidance are:
- Early recognition/communication should occur as soon as possible to help people understand the condition and receive more effective treatment.
- For those whose symptoms do not improve with education and monitoring, employ either individual pure self-help, individual guided self-help or psycho-education groups.
- For those with marked functional impairment, or whose symptoms have not adequately responded to low-intensity psychological interventions, offer individual high-intensity psychological interventions. These may include pure self-help, guided self help and psycho-educational groups.
- Offer cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or applied relaxation to people with GAD with marked functional impairment or those whose symptoms have not adequately responded to low-intensity psychological interventions.
- Antipsychotic drugs should not be used for the treatment of GAD in primary care.
Those wishing to offer comments on the guidance should visit the NICE website.