Anxiety disorders: clinical practice guidelines and associated resources

Clinical practice guideline for the treatment of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalised anxiety disorder (2018) [PDF; 1.7MB]
Guidance on the clinical management of anxiety disorders, specifically focusing on diagnosis and treatment strategies.

Key practice points

  • These guidelines provide evidence-based and consensus-based recommendations for the treatment of adults with panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.


  • Consensus-based recommendations were made where there was insufficient high quality evidence to allow specific recommendations for one treatment over another.


  • Initial treatment should be 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)
    • combination of cognitive–behavioural therapy and pharmacotherapy.

Community resources

Readers can access further guidance for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Additional details on specific treatments are available in the following Professional Practice Guidelines/Position Statements developed by the College:Psychotherapy conducted by psychiatristsPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Use of benzodiazepines, and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).

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