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Apr 2023

Managing Patients with Anxiety Disorders and Depression


According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) survey of Canadians’ mental health during the pandemic, Canadians are reporting increased moderate to severe anxiety and feelings of depression since the pandemic started. This clinical tool helps family physicians and primary care nurse practitioners identify and manage anxiety and depression in adult patients. The tool was developed to help guide conversations with patients and families over a series of visits, as appropriate.

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About the tool

Divided into three sections, the Managing Patients with Anxiety Disorders and Depression Tool can help guide discussions and decision-making between providers and their patients with anxiety and depression. This tool outlines steps and strategies for screening and assessment, management (both psychological and pharmacological) and follow-up and monitoring.

The Managing Patients with Anxiety and Depression in Primary Care Tool was developed using the Centre for Effective Practice’s (CEP’s) integrated knowledge translation approach. This approach ensures that providers are engaged throughout the development processes through the application of user-centered design methodology. Clinical leadership of the resource was provided by Dr. Sharon Bal. End users and clinical experts were also engaged to provide feedback.

The tool is one of several clinical tools developed as part of the Knowledge Translation in Primary Care Initiative. This tool has been endorsed by Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) and Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO). Funded by the Ministry of Health, this initiative supports primary care providers with the development of a series of clinical tools and health information resources. Learn more about the Knowledge Translation in Primary Care Initiative (KTinPC).

Clinical leads

  • Sharon Bal


    Dr. Sharon Bal is a family physician practicing in Cambridge with privileges at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. She is a Regional Clinical Lead (Ontario Health, West) and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, where she holds leadership roles as Preclerkship Coordinator (Waterloo Regional Campus) and Chair, Electives of the UGME Program. Dr. Bal has a special interest in health equity and mental health, chairing the CND Quality Committee and participating in provincial initiatives including the Advisory Committee for the Anxiety Disorder Quality Standard (HQO), and is a current member of the Depression and Anxiety-Related Disorders Provincial Advisory Table, OH.

    Dr. Bal provided clinical leadership for the anxiety and depression topic and was offered compensation for her role.

Topic Expert Group 

  • David Kocerzingski MD FRCPC
  • Randi E. McCabe, Ph.D., C.Psych
  • Katie Anderson, MD, FRCPC
  • Paul Preston MD CCFP CCPE CHE
  • Upender Mehan, MD, CCFP, FCFP
  • Rachel Shour BSc. MD. CCFP
  • Cindy Pritchard, RN(EC), BScN, NP-PHC
  • Kim Corace, Ph.D., C.Psych
  • Dielle Miranda, MA (Clin Psy), MHSc
  • Olivia Soulliere, Lived Experience Advisor
  • Christina Gilman, Lived Experience Advisor

Topic Expert Group members were offered an honorarium for their participation. Thank you to all our members for their work!

Conflict of Interest

Usability participants received a token of appreciation (e.g., gift certificate).

Expert Reviewers

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