Health perceptions and anxiety sensitivity in patients with panic disorder

Norman B. Schmidt, Thomas E. Joiner, Jeffrey P. Staab, Foluso M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Health perceptions
  • Panic disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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