The study of quality of life has increased in importance in the area of mental disorders during the last decade. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of specific anxiety disorders on specific quality of life indicators in the common population. More than 2000 individuals between 18 and 65 years old were studied by means of structured interviews. The results showed that social phobia and panic disorder within the past year and lifetime, and generalized anxiety disorder within the past year, had an independent effect on quality of life when controlling for a number of sociodemographic variables, somatic health, and other DSM-III-R Axis I mental disorders. Specific phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder had only a small effect, and agoraphobia showed no effect. The effect was strongest for self-realization and contact with friends, but anxiety disorders also influenced subjective well-being, social support, negative life events, contact with family of origin, and neighborhood quality.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to explore white-matter disruption in social anxiety disorder (SAD) patients by using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and to investigate the relationship between cerebral abnormalities and the severity of the symptoms. Eighteen SAD patients and age- and gender-matched healthy controls were recruited. DTI scans were performed to measure fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) for each subject. We used voxel-based analysis to determine the differences of FA and ADC values between the two groups with two-sample t-tests. The SAD patient showed significantly decreased FA values in the white matter of the left insula, left inferior frontal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, and left inferior parietal gyrus and increased ADC values in the left insula, bilateral inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral middle temporal gyrus, and left inferior parietal gyrus. In SAD patients, we observed a significant negative correlation between FA values in the left insula and the total LSAS scores and a positive correlation between the ADC values in the left inferior frontal gyrus and the total LSAS scores. Above results suggested that white-matter microstructural changes might contribute to the neuropathology of SAD.
"In contrast, a study of a Norwegian community sample that looked at quality of life in different anxiety disorders concluded that agoraphobia “does not seem to imply a serious disorder.” The questions in this study were written to capture quality and meaning to life rather than disability and they found that social phobia had the strongest effect whereas the presence of agoraphobia was negligible . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Anxiety disorders are associated with considerable disability in the domains of (1) work, (2) social, and (3) family and home interactions. Psychiatric comorbidity is also known to be associated with disability. Methods. Data from the Cross-National Collaborative Panic Study was used to identify rates of comorbid diagnoses, anxiety and depression symptom ratings, and Sheehan disability scale ratings from a clinical sample of 1165 adults with panic disorder. Results. Comorbid diagnoses of agoraphobia, major depression, and social phobia were associated with disability across the three domains of work, social, and family and home interactions. The symptom of agoraphobic avoidance makes the largest contribution to disability but there is no single symptom cluster that entirely predicts impairment and disability. Limitations. The findings about the relative contributions that comorbid diagnoses make to disability only apply to a population with panic disorder. Conclusions. Although panic disorder is not generally considered to be among the serious and persistent mental illnesses, when it is comorbid with other diagnoses, it is associated with considerable impairment. In particular, the presence of agoraphobic avoidance should alert the clinician to the likelihood of important functional impairment. When measuring the functional impact of comorbid anxiety disorders, both the categorical and the dimensional approaches to diagnosis make valuable contributions.
"This relatively common syndrome is chronic and has an adverse effect on patients' quality of life.3,4) Recent studies have evaluated how PD affects quality of life due to its adverse impact on vocational, family, and social functioning.5-8) Ormel et al.9) found that more than half of PD patients reported moderate or severe occupational role dysfunction and physical disability. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks, persistent concerns about additional attacks, and worry about the implications of the attack or significant changes in behavior related to the attacks. We examined the efficacy of 24-week naturalistic, open-label escitalopram treatment in terms of the response and remission rates and functional disability in 119 adult Korean patients with panic disorder from 6 clinical centers in South Korea.
Clinical severity and functional impairment were assessed at baseline and at 4, 12, and 24 weeks after the treatment using the Panic Disorder Severity Scale and Sheehan Disability Scale. Ninety-six patients (80.7%) showed a treatment response, and 87 patients (73.1%) had attained remission after 24 weeks of escitalopram treatment.
Continuous improvement in the Panic Disorder Severity Scale and Sheehan Disability Scale scores was found over the 24 weeks of treatment.
These findings suggest that escitalopram treatment is very effective for panic disorder in terms of both response and remission rates and that long-term pharmacotherapy with escitalopram continuously improved panic symptoms and functional disability in Korean patients with panic disorder.
Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience 04/2012; 10(1):44-8. DOI:10.9758/cpn.2012.10.1.44
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