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October 2021

Relationship of cognitions to fear of somatic symptoms: A test of the cognitive theory of panic

Author(s): Beck, A. T., Gracely, E. J., Grisham, J. R.

Journal/Book: Depress Anxiety. 2000; 11: Div John Wiley & Sons Inc, 605 Third Ave, New York, NY 10158-0012, USA. Wiley-Liss. 1-9.

Abstract: The relationship between fear of physical anxiety symptoms and cognitive misinterpretation of those symptoms, as measured by responses to the Body Sensations Questionnaire and the Agoraphobic Cognitions Questionnaire, respectively, was examined for two samples of outpatients with panic disorder Factor analytic and correlational analyses demonstrated that the patients' self-rated fear of specific physical and psychological symptoms was related to the frequency of specific logically related catastrophic thoughts (e.g., fears of heart palpitations of chest pressure with thoughts of a heart attack). This specific relationship between the somatic sensations and the catastrophic thoughts experienced by agoraphobic individuals provides further support for the cognitive theory of panic disorder When the responses to the two questionnaires were factor-analyzed together, four factors were identified: symptoms and thoughts relevant to cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and behavioral control systems, respectively. These findings suggest that the nature of panic-related fears varies across patients, and that the use of specific treatment interventions designed to modify, the specific variations in their expression may be advisable.

Note: Article Chambless DL, Univ N Carolina, Dept Psychol, CB 3270, Chapel Hill,NC 27599 USA

Keyword(s): fear of fear; anxiety sensitivity; panic disorder; agoraphobia; ANXIETY SENSITIVITY; BODY SENSATIONS; DISORDER; AGORAPHOBIA; MISINTERPRETATION; HYPERVENTILATION; QUESTIONNAIRE; THERAPY; ATTACKS


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