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Objective: The role of anxiety in the use of urgent care in people with long term conditions is not fully understood. A systematic review was conducted with meta-analysis to examine the relationship between anxiety and future use of urgent healthcare among individuals with one of four long term conditions: diabetes; coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Methods: Electronic searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PSYCINFO, CINAHL, the British Nursing Library and the Cochrane Library were conducted These searches were supplemented by hand-searching bibliographies, citation tracing eligible studies and asking experts within the field about relevant studies. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they: a) used a standardised measure of anxiety, b) used prospective cohort design, c) included adult patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD), asthma, diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), d) assessed urgent healthcare use prospectively. Data regarding participants, methodology, and association between anxiety and urgent care use was extracted from studies eligible for inclusion. Odds ratios were calculated for each study and pooled using random effects models. Results: 8 independent studies were identified for inclusion in the meta-analysis, with a total of 28,823 individual patients. Pooled effects indicate that anxiety is not associated with an increase in the use of urgent care (OR. =. 1.078, p. =. 0.476), regardless of the type of service, or type of medical condition. Conclusions: Anxiety is not associated with increased use of urgent care. This finding is in contrast to similar studies which have investigated the role of depression as a risk factor for use of urgent care. © 2013 .

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Publication Date





232 - 239