Early recognition of psychiatric disorders is a crucial part of improving a patient’s quality of life. Pediatricians are vital in detecting child anxiety, but studies show a lack of training in evaluating, managing, and treating anxiety disorders. Furthermore, there is limited research regarding clinical decision making among early‐career medical professionals. I joined the Pediatric Anxiety Training Study (PATS), managed by Dr. Nicholas Mian at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, which aims to improve pediatric residents’ ability to evaluate anxiety disorders. I focused on the possible influence of medical resident characteristics (career focus, interest in child mental health issues, and level of experience) on clinical decision‐making factors (diagnosing, referring, and interference ratings). I focused on an assessment in which the resident watched a video showing a patient with anxiety symptoms and then responded to questions. Results show that residents interested in a career in clinical/primary care, as opposed to a career in academic/emergency medicine, reported that the child needed to be referred sooner and that the anxiety was affecting the child to a higher degree.

Also, there was a significant positive correlation between a resident’s level of interest in child mental health issues and how urgently the resident would refer the child for treatment. In addition, 78 percent of residents reported receiving “not enough” training on evaluating anxiety disorders. This study has shown the need to use enhanced physician‐education tools and an interdisciplinary approach between clinical psychologists and primary care physicians in order to improve patient outcomes.

Publication Date

Spring 4-2019


UNH Undergraduate Research Journal

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Nicholas Mian


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type