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RANZCP clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of anxiety disorders now available

04 December 2018

The RANZCP has published new clinical practice guidelines (CPG) to provide practical clinical guidance for the treatment of adults with panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.

A systematic review of the literature informed the guidelines. Evidence-based and consensus-based recommendations were formulated by synthesising the evidence from efficacy studies, considering effectiveness in routine practice, accessibility and availability of treatments in Australia and New Zealand, potential for fidelity, acceptability to patients, safety and costs.

The final version was informed by public consultation and expert peer review.

The guidelines recommend psychoeducation and advice on lifestyle factors, with initial treatment selected in collaboration with the patient from evidence-based options, taking into account symptom severity, patient preference, accessibility and cost.

Recommended initial treatment options for all three anxiety disorders are cognitive–behavioural therapy (face-to-face or delivered by computer, tablet or smart-phone application), pharmacotherapy (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor together with advice about graded exposure to anxiety triggers), or the combination of cognitive–behavioural therapy and pharmacotherapy.

The CPG can be viewed here and is also available in the December 2018 issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (ANZJP) [member log-in required].

Congratulations to the Anxiety Disorders Working Group for this significant contribution to clinical practice in Australia and New Zealand: Professor Gavin Andrews (Chair), Associate Professor Caroline Bell, Professor Philip Boyce, Dr Christopher Gale, Associate Professor Lisa Lampe, Dr Omar Marwat, Professor Ronald Rapee and Dr Gregory Wilkins.


Andrews G, Bell C, Boyce P, et al. (2018) Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 52: 1109–1172.