Interpretation Bias in Panic Disorder: Self-Referential or Global?
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Numerous studies have indicated that interpretation bias plays a key role in the development and maintenance of panic disorder; however, whether this bias is specific to the self or more generalized is unknown. This study offers a closer examination of the nature of interpretation bias among patients with panic disorder in an outpatient hospital-based anxiety clinic. Self-referential and global versions of the Body Sensation Interpretation Questionnaire (Clark et al. in J Consult Clin Psychol 65:203–213, 1997) were administered to 25 individuals with panic disorder, 25 individuals with social anxiety disorder and 24 non-anxious controls. Consistent with previous findings, individuals with panic disorder misinterpreted panic-related body sensations more so than anxious or non-anxious controls. Furthermore, the interpretation bias was limited to the self and did not extend to beliefs about how others would interpret panic sensations. Implications of these findings are discussed.
KeywordsPanic disorder Interpretation bias Information processing Anxiety
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