Feared Consequences of Panic Attacks in Panic Disorder: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 02/2004; 33(4):199-207. DOI: 10.1080/16506070410033356
Source: PubMed


Cognitions are hypothesized to play a central role in panic disorder (PD). Previous studies have used questionnaires to assess cognitive content, focusing on prototypical cognitions associated with PD; however, few studies have qualitatively examined cognitions associated with the feared consequences of panic attacks. The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative and quantitative analysis of feared consequences of panic attacks. The initial, qualitative analysis resulted in the development of 32 categories of feared consequences. The categories were derived from participant responses to a standardized, semi-structured question (n = 207). Five expert-derived categories were then utilized to quantitatively examine the relationship between cognitions and indicators of PD severity. Cognitions did not predict PD severity; however, correlational analyses indicated some predictive validity to the expert-derived categories. The qualitative analysis identified additional areas of patient-reported concern not included in previous research that may be important in the assessment and treatment of PD.

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