One hundred and fifty-one non-clinical Ss and 18 patients suffering panic disorder with agoraphobia completed a questionnaire to assess their experience of physiological sensations and their emotional reactions to these sensations. The non-clinical group was divided into those who reported having ever experienced a DSM-III-R uncued panic attack (n = 21) and those who did not (n = 130). The results indicated that physiological sensations characteristic of panic attacks are commonly experienced by non-clinical Ss. The major difference between panic disorder patients and non-clinical Ss who had never experienced a panic attack is that the former group are far more likely to respond with anxiety to the sensations. Non-clinical panickers fall between the other two groups in terms of their anxious response to physical sensations. The panic disorder Ss report a greater intensity, duration and frequency of the physiological sensations than either of the non-clinical groups. The results provide some support for biopsychosocial models of panic attacks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health