Case scenario

Loretta is a regular consumer at your pharmacy. Her husband recently had a stroke that resulted in a reliance on Loretta for assistance with daily activities. Loretta is struggling to adjust and often comes into the pharmacy distressed, with queries about managing her husband’s medication regimen. She has called the pharmacy a few times, unable to remember the advice provided and worried about administering his medications incorrectly. Loretta confides that she feels stressed, overwhelmed, tired, is suffering from frequent headaches and isn’t sleeping well. Recently a locum GP prescribed sleeping tablets; but she hasn’t filled the prescription as she thinks she can manage and is concerned she will be unable to wake to assist her husband in the night. Feeling that she can no longer cope with the demands of her job, Loretta tells you she remembers feeling this way when her son was born many years ago and she took a medicine (she can’t remember the name) that helped…

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder
  • Recognise the role of cognitive behavioural therapy in managing generalised anxiety disorder
  • Discuss recommendations for the management of generalised anxiety disorder
  • Summarise the role of the pharmacist in managing a patient with generalised anxiety disorder.

Competency standards (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.

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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is normal in the human experience. As a physiological response to fear and danger, it enables sympathetic nervous system activation, allowing an individual to perform optimally in stressful

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