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Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 255–268 | Cite as

Claustrophobia and the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Procedure

  • Heather K. McIsaac
  • Dana S. Thordarson
  • Roz Shafran
  • S. Rachman
  • Gary Poole
Article

Abstract

We examined fear induced by the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure in 80 adult patients who were undergoing the procedure for the first time. Participants completed self-report measures of claustrophobia, anxiety sensitivity, thoughts about the scan, and pain. Participants were assessed pre- and postscan, and at 1-month follow-up. Twenty-five percent of the participants experienced moderate to severe anx iety during the MRI scan. Prescan scores on the Claustrophobia Questionnaire (CLQ: Rachman and Taylor, 1993) significantly predicted participants' distress during the scan; pain and anxiety sensitivity did not. Furthermore, CLQ scores discriminated between participants who reported panic during the scan and participants who did not report panic. A brief screening instrument consisting of six items from the 29-item CLQ is suggested. This brief screening instrument administered prior to the scan may help identify in advance those people who are most likely to experience claustrophobic fear and, in particular, those who panic during the MRI procedure.

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING CLAUSTROPHOBIA FEAR ANXIETY 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather K. McIsaac
    • 1
  • Dana S. Thordarson
    • 1
  • Roz Shafran
    • 1
  • S. Rachman
    • 1
  • Gary Poole
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver, British ColumbiaCanada

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