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Reexperiencing symptoms, dissociation, and avoidance behaviors in daily life of patients with PTSD and patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia


Pfaltz, Monique C; Michael, Tanja; Meyer, Andrea H; Wilhelm, Frank H (2013). Reexperiencing symptoms, dissociation, and avoidance behaviors in daily life of patients with PTSD and patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 26(4):443-450.

Abstract

Panic attacks are frequently perceived as life threatening. Panic disorder (PD) patients may therefore experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The authors explored this in 28 healthy controls, 17 PTSD patients, and 24 PD patients with agoraphobia who completed electronic diaries 36 times during 1 week. Patient groups frequently reported dissociation as well as thoughts, memories, and reliving of their trauma or panic attacks. PTSD patients reported more trauma/panic attack thoughts (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 2.9) and memories (IRR = 2.8) than PD patients. Patient groups relived their trauma or panic attacks equally frequently, and reported comparable bodily reactions and distress associated with trauma or panic attack memories. Clinical groups avoided trauma or panic attack reminders more often than healthy controls (avoidance of trauma- or panic attack-related thoughts (IRR = 8.0); avoidance of things associated with the trauma or panic attack (IRR = 40.7). PD patients avoided trauma or panic attack reminders less often than PTSD patients (avoidance of trauma- or panic attack-related thoughts [IRR = 2.5]; avoidance of things associated with the trauma or panic attack [IRR = 4.1]), yet these differences were nonsignificant when controlling for functional impairment. In conclusion, trauma-like symptoms are common in PD with agoraphobia and panic attacks may be processed similarly as trauma in PTSD.

Abstract

Panic attacks are frequently perceived as life threatening. Panic disorder (PD) patients may therefore experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The authors explored this in 28 healthy controls, 17 PTSD patients, and 24 PD patients with agoraphobia who completed electronic diaries 36 times during 1 week. Patient groups frequently reported dissociation as well as thoughts, memories, and reliving of their trauma or panic attacks. PTSD patients reported more trauma/panic attack thoughts (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 2.9) and memories (IRR = 2.8) than PD patients. Patient groups relived their trauma or panic attacks equally frequently, and reported comparable bodily reactions and distress associated with trauma or panic attack memories. Clinical groups avoided trauma or panic attack reminders more often than healthy controls (avoidance of trauma- or panic attack-related thoughts (IRR = 8.0); avoidance of things associated with the trauma or panic attack (IRR = 40.7). PD patients avoided trauma or panic attack reminders less often than PTSD patients (avoidance of trauma- or panic attack-related thoughts [IRR = 2.5]; avoidance of things associated with the trauma or panic attack [IRR = 4.1]), yet these differences were nonsignificant when controlling for functional impairment. In conclusion, trauma-like symptoms are common in PD with agoraphobia and panic attacks may be processed similarly as trauma in PTSD.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:04 Jan 2014 19:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:18
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0894-9867
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.21822

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