Pediatric Generalized Anxiety Disorder Workup

Updated: May 24, 2023
  • Author: Dennis Anthony Nutter, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

In April 2022, The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) posted draft recommendation statements on screening for depression and suicide risk in children and adolescents and screening for anxiety in children and adolescents. The USPSTF recommends screening children 12 years and older for depression and, for the first time, recommends screening children ages 8 years and older for anxiety. [8]

Consider urine drug screening (especially with adolescents), thyroid-stimulating hormone level assessment, and less common laboratory tests based on history and physical findings.

Excessive laboratory exclusion of somatic complaints is to be avoided; however, careful interview and physical examination assessment of stress-related symptoms should be repeated if the psychological diagnostic picture is unclear.

Many substances of abuse and even prescribed medications can contribute to anxiety manifestations (eg, stimulants for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, beta-2 agonists and corticosteroids for reactive airway disease). Furthermore, both use and/or withdrawal from substances of abuse may contribute to anxiety signs and symptoms.