Size and burden of social phobia in Europe. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol

Department of Psychology, Humboldt-University Berlin, Rudower Chaussee 18, D-12489 Berlin, Germany.
European Neuropsychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.37). 09/2005; 15(4):453-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2005.04.002
Source: PubMed


This paper provides a critical review of the prevalence of social phobia in European countries, a description of associated disability and burden and of clinical correlates and risk factors associated with social phobia. On the basis of a comprehensive literature search we identified 21 community studies and two primary care studies. The median lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of social phobia in community samples referring to DSM-III-R and DSM-IV criteria were 6.65% and 2.0%, respectively. Younger individuals showed the highest rates, and women were more frequently affected than men. Social phobia was shown to be a persistent condition with a remarkably high degree of comorbid conditions, associated impairment and disability. Research deficits lie in a lack of data for most EU countries and in a lack of studies in children and the elderly. No data are available addressing met and unmet needs for intervention and costs, and data for vulnerability and risk factors of malignant course are scarce.

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    • "Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is common and debilitating (Fehm, Pelissolo, Furmark, & Wittchen, 2005;Kessler et al., 2005). Existing treatment protocols are effective in treating SAD but even the most effective protocols include up to almost a quarter of patients as nonresponders (e.g.,Clark et al., 2006). "
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    • "The OCD patients also had a significantly more serious current depressive symptomatology . This pattern of mood disorder comorbidity reflects the global symptomatic severity of the disorders in both groups due to the clinical setting in which the recruitment was made (Stein, 2002; Fehm et al., 2005). OCD patients also had more comorbid eating disorders. "
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    • "), a median lifetime prevalence of 7% in Europe ( Fehm et al., 2005 ) and a point prevalence of 4% ( Ohayon and Schatzberg , 2010 ). In addition to acute symptoms of distress , avoidance behavior is commonly observed in SAD patients , which has destructive consequences for social and occupational functioning ( Ollendick and Hirshfeld - Becker , 2002 ; Stein and Stein , 2008 ; American Psychiatric Associ - ation , 2013 ; Bandelow and Wedekind , 2014 ) . "
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