Week 6: Therapy for Patients With Anxiety Disorders and PTSD Treatment

Published by Brenda I. Belcher

Mar 27, 2021

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I’m no longer at the mercy of my PTSD, and I would not be here today had I not had the proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s never too late to seek help.

—P.K. Philips, PTSD patient

For individuals presenting with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders, everyday life can be a constant challenge. Clients requiring anxiolytic therapy may present with anxiousness, depression, substance abuse issues, and even physical symptoms related to cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal ailments. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you must be prepared to address the many needs of individuals seeking treatment for PTSD and other anxiety disorders.

This week, as you study anxiolytic therapies and PTSD treatments, you examine the assessment and treatment of patients with PTSD and other anxiety disorders. You also explore ethical and legal implications of these therapies.

Reference:
Philips, P. K. (n.d.). My story of survival: Battling PTSD. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/personal-stories/my-story-survival-battling-ptsd

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Assess patient factors and history to develop personalized plans of anxiolytic therapy for patients
  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients requiring anxiolytic therapy
  • Synthesize knowledge of providing care to patients presenting with anxiolytic therapy
  • Analyze ethical and legal implications related to prescribing anxiolytic therapy to patients across the lifespan
  • Assess psychopharmacologic approaches to treatment for patients across the lifespan

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Bui, E., Pollack, M. H., Kinrys, G., Delong, H., Vasconcelos e Sá, D., & Simon, N. M. (2016). The pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders. In T. A. Stern, M. Favo, T. E. Wilens, & J. F. Rosenbaum. (Eds.), Massachusetts General Hospital psychopharmacology and neurotherapeutics (pp. 61–71). Elsevier.

American Psychiatric Association. (2010a). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. https://psychiatryonline.org/pb/assets/raw/sitewide/practice_guidelines/guidelines/acutestressdisorderptsd.pdf American Psychiatric Association. (2010c). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with panic disorder (2nd ed.). https://psychiatryonline.org/pb/assets/raw/sitewide/practice_guidelines/guidelines/panicdisorder.pdf Bendek, D. M., Friedman, M. J., Zatzick, D., & Ursano, R. J. (n.d.). Guideline watch (March 2009): Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. https://psychiatryonline.org/pb/assets/raw/sitewide/practice_guidelines/guidelines/acutestressdisorderptsd-watch.pdf Cohen, J. A. (2010). Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(4), 414–430. https://jaacap.org/action/showPdf?pii=S0890-8567%2810%2900082-1 Davidson, J. (2016). Pharmacotherapy of post-traumatic stress disorder: Going beyond the guidelines. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2(6), e16–e18. 10.1192/bjpo.bp.116.003707. http://bjpo.rcpsych.org/content/2/6/e16 Hamilton, M. (1959). Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A). PsycTESTS. https://doi.org/10.1037/t02824-0 Ostacher, M. J., & Cifu, A. S. (2019). Management of posttraumatic stress disorder. JAMA, 321(2), 200–201. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.19290 Strawn, J. R., Wehry, A. M., DelBello, M. P., Rynn, M. A., & Strakowski. S. (2012). Establishing the neurobiologic basis of treatment in children and adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 29(4), 328–339. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.21913 Medication Resources (click to expand/reduce) IBM Corporation. (2020). IBM Micromedex. https://www.micromedexsolutions.com/micromedex2/librarian/deeplinkaccess?source=deepLink&institution=SZMC%5ESZMC%5ET43537

Note: To access the following medications, use the IBM Micromedex resource. Type the name of each medication in the keyword search bar. Be sure to read all sections on the left navigation bar related to each medication’s result page as this information will be helpful for your review in preparation for your Assignments.

Review the following medications:

benzodiazepines citalopram desvenlafaxine duloxetine escitalopram fluoxetine paroxetinesertraline venlafaxine vilazodone vortioxetine propranolol prazosin

Required Media (click to expand/reduce) Case Study: A Middle-aged Caucasian Man with Anxiety 
Note: This case study will serve as the foundation for this week’s Assignment.


Assignment: Assessing and Treating Patients With Anxiety Disorders

Common symptoms of anxiety disorders include chest pains, shortness of breath, and other physical symptoms that may be mistaken for a heart attack or other physical ailment. These manifestations often prompt patients to seek care from their primary care providers or emergency departments. Once it is determined that there is no organic basis for these symptoms, patients are typically referred to a psychiatric mental health practitioner for anxiolytic therapy. For this Assignment, as you examine the patient case study in this week’s Learning Resources, consider how you might assess and treat patients presenting with anxiety disorders.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, including the Medication Resources indicated for this week.
  • Reflect on the psychopharmacologic treatments you might recommend for the assessment and treatment of patients requiring anxiolytic therapy.

The Assignment: 5 pages

Examine Case Study: A Middle-Aged Caucasian Man With Anxiety. You will be asked to make three decisions concerning the medication to prescribe to this patient. Be sure to consider factors that might impact the patient’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes.

At each decision point, you should evaluate all options before selecting your decision and moving throughout the exercise. Before you make your decision, make sure that you have researched each option and that you evaluate the decision that you will select. Be sure to research each option using the primary literature.

Introduction to the case (1 page)

  • Briefly explain and summarize the case for this Assignment. Be sure to include the specific patient factors that may impact your decision making when prescribing medication for this patient.

Decision #1 (1 page)

  • Which decision did you select?
  • Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).
  • Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Decision #2 (1 page)

  • Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).
  • Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Decision #3 (1 page)

  • Why did you select this decision? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • Why did you not select the other two options provided in the exercise? Be specific and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.
  • What were you hoping to achieve by making this decision? Support your response with evidence and references to the Learning Resources (including the primary literature).
  • Explain how ethical considerations may impact your treatment plan and communication with patients. Be specific and provide examples.

Conclusion (1 page)

  • Summarize your recommendations on the treatment options you selected for this patient. Be sure to justify your recommendations and support your response with clinically relevant and patient-specific resources, including the primary literature.

Note: Support your rationale with a minimum of five academic resources. While you may use the course text to support your rationale, it will not count toward the resource requirement. You should be utilizing the primary and secondary literature. Reminder : The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/templates/general#s-lg-box-20293632). All papers submitted must use this formatting.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment. 

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK6Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Week 6 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Week 6 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK6Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:Week 6 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:Submit your Week 6 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 6

To participate in this Assignment:Week 6 Assignment


Midterm Exam

  • Introduction to neuroscience, including concepts in neuroanatomy, neurotransmitters, and receptor theory
  • Medication adherence
  • Pediatric, adult, and geriatric Major Depressive Disorders (MDD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety and PTSD treatment

Prior to starting the exam, you should review all of your materials. There is a 2.5-hour time limit to complete this 50-question exam. You may only attempt this exam once.

This exam is a test of your knowledge in preparation for your certification exam. No outside resources including books, notes, websites, or any other type of resource are to be used to complete this exam. You are expected to comply with Walden University’s Code of Conduct.

By Day 7

Submit your Midterm Exam by Day 7.

Submission Information

Submit Your Exam by Day 7
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