Pathological worry, anxiety disorders and the impact of co-occurrence with depressive and other anxiety disorders

Vladan Starcevic*, David Berle, Denise Milicevic, Anthony Hannan, Claire Lamplugh, Guy D. Eslick

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) was administered to 123 outpatients with principal diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder with agoraphobia, and panic disorder without agoraphobia (PD) to examine the specificity of pathological worry for GAD. The mean PSWQ scores in patients with GAD and SAD were significantly higher than the mean PSWQ scores in patients with PD, while not differing significantly in the subgroups without any co-occurring depressive or anxiety disorders. Patients with any co-occurring depressive or anxiety disorder scored significantly higher on the PSWQ. In a logistic regression analysis, high PSWQ scores independently predicted only GAD and SAD diagnoses. The study suggests that pathological worry is specific not only for GAD, and indicates that a significant relationship exists between pathological worry, GAD and SAD, and that depressive and anxiety disorders co-occurrence increases levels of pathological worry in patients with anxiety disorders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1016-1027
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
    Volume21
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Keywords

    • Anxiety disorders
    • Co-occurrence
    • Depression
    • Generalized anxiety disorder
    • Social anxiety disorder
    • Worry

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