Cognitive factors in panic disorder, agoraphobic avoidance and agoraphobia

David Berle*, Vladan Starcevic, Anthony Hannan, Denise Milicevic, Claire Lamplugh, Pauline Fenech

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    There remains a lack of consensus regarding the possibility that especially high levels of panic-related cognitions characterise panic disorder with agoraphobia. We administered the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, the Agoraphobic Cognitions Questionnaire and the Anxious Thoughts and Tendencies Scale as well as measures of agoraphobic avoidance to patients diagnosed with panic disorder with agoraphobia (n=75) and without agoraphobia (n=26). Patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia did not score significantly higher on any of the cognitive variables than did panic disorder patients without agoraphobia. However, most of the cognitive variables showed small to moderate-strength correlations with self-report measures of agoraphobic avoidance. Our findings suggest that anxiety sensitivity, catastrophising of the consequences of panic and a general anxiety-prone cognitive style, although to some extent associated with agoraphobic avoidance, do not discriminate panic disorder with agoraphobia from panic disorder without agoraphobia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)282-291
    Number of pages10
    JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
    Volume46
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

    Keywords

    • Agoraphobia
    • Agoraphobic avoidance
    • Anxiety sensitivity
    • Catastrophising
    • Cognitions
    • Panic disorder

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