Clinical and psychosocial outcome of patients affected by panic disorder with or without agoraphobia: Results from a naturalistic follow-up study

Bernardo Carpiniello, Antonella Baita, Mauro Giovanni Carta, Rossella Sitzia, Adolfo Maria Macciardi, Stefano Murgia, Alfredo Carlo Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: A clinical and psychosocial follow-up study of a cohort of 85 patients affected by panic disorder (PD) with or without agoraphobia was performed an average of 40 months after initial observation and following a mean duration of illness of 8 years. Methods: Eighty-five out of 130 patients affected by PDs with or without agoraphobia according to DSM-III R criteria, examined between 1990 and 1995 at an outpatient clinic were re-examined in 1997/1998 using the same standardized clinical evaluation performed on admission. Patients also underwent a structured diagnostic interview (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, MINI) and psychosocial evaluation (Scale of Sheehan's Disability Scale, DISS, Baker and Intagliata's Satisfaction with Life Domains Scale, SLDS). Results: At follow-up, the percentage of patients who had either improved or were in remission was considerably higher among those initially diagnosed as PD with respect to those diagnosed as panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA): Thirty-eight percent of PD and 20.6% of PDA patients were in clinical remission. Mild panic symptoms and phobic avoidance were found in the majority of patients who were still symptomatic (respectively 71% and 57%). Approximately 60% of patients reported a significant difficulty in performing daily activities and 40% expressed dissatisfaction in at least 50% of life domains considered. Seventy-two percent of subjects examined were still undergoing pharmacological treatment at the time of follow-up. Conclusions: The findings of the study are suggestive of a chronic illness with a significant impact on everyday quality of life of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002

Keywords

  • Agoraphobia
  • Clinical outcome
  • Panic disorder
  • Psychosocial outcome
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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