Health Perceptions and Anxiety Sensitivity in Patients with Panic Disorder

  • Norman B. Schmidt
  • Thomas E. JoinerJr.Email author
  • Jeffrey P. Staab
  • Foluso M. Williams


Separate lines of research indicate that patients with panic disorder display negative perceptions of physical health and elevated fear of autonomic arousal. Because health perceptions and anxiety sensitivity may be related, the present study evaluated the degree to which these constructs can be distinguished in patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder (N = 44). Perceived health, anxiety sensitivity, and the clinical features of panic disorder were assessed at pretreatment and following 12 sessions of cognitive–behavioral treatment. Findings consistently indicated that perceived health and anxiety sensitivity can be meaningfully differentiated. Perceived physical health was only moderately associated with anxiety sensitivity, and each was uniquely associated with pretreatment symptomatology and posttreatment end-state functioning. Perceived physical health appears to be a clinically useful index in the overall evaluation of panic disorder and is readily distinguishable from anxiety sensitivity.

anxiety sensitivity panic disorder health perceptions 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman B. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Thomas E. JoinerJr.
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jeffrey P. Staab
    • 3
  • Foluso M. Williams
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOhio State UniversityColumbus
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasee
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesda
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyFlorida State University

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