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January 2022

Psychophysiological reactivity and heartbeat awareness in anxiety sensitivity

Author(s): Goetsch, V. L.

Journal/Book: J Anxiety Disord. 1996; 10: The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England OX5 1GB. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 283-294.

Abstract: Anxiety sensitivity refers to the degree to which an individual fears symptoms of anxiety because of beliefs about anxiety's aversive consequences. Heart-rate reactivity and sensitivity to physiology were investigated in 59 female undergraduate participants. It was predicted that compared to women with low anxiety sensitivity, women with high anxiety sensitivity would exhibit higher heart rates and greater cardiac awareness during a mental arithmetic and caffeine manipulation. Women high on anxiety sensitivity were significantly more accurate at counting heartbeats during arithmetic than women low on anxiety sensitivity, although absolute heart rate did not differ across groups. Self-report data for caffeine-induced physical sensations support the use of caffeine challenge tasks in future research on anxiety sensitivity.

Note: Article LV Sturges, Dept Vet Affairs Med Ctr, Trauma Recovery Program 116A2, 1500 E Woodrow Wilson Dr, Jackson, MS 39216 USA

Keyword(s): PANIC DISORDER; ATTACKS


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