Prevalence and disability of comorbid social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients with panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder

Giulia Camuri, Lucio Oldani, Bernardo Dell'Osso, Beatrice Benatti, Licia Lietti, Carlotta Palazzo, A. Carlo Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) are disabling conditions, often comorbid with other anxiety disorders. The present study was aimed to assess prevalence and related disability of comorbid social phobia (SP) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in 115 patients with GAD (57) or PD (58).

Methods. Patients were classified as having threshold, subthreshold, or no comorbidity, and related prevalence rates, as well as disability (Sheehan Disability Scale, SDS), were compared across diagnostic subgroups.

Results. SP and OCD comorbidities were present in 30.4% of the sample, with subthreshold comorbidities present at twice the rate of threshold ones (22.6% vs. 11.3%). Compared with GAD patients, PD patients showed significantly higher subthreshold and threshold comorbidity rates (27.6% and 13.8% vs. 17.5% and 8.8%, respectively). Comorbid PD patients had higher SDS scores than the comorbid and non-comorbid GAD subjects. The presence of threshold SP comorbidity was associated with the highest SDS scores.

Conclusions. SP and OCD comorbidities were found to be prevalent and disabling among GAD and PD patients, with higher subthreshold than threshold rates, and a negative impact on quality of life. Present findings stress the importance of a dimensional approach to anxiety disorders, the presence of threshold and subthreshold comorbidity being the rule rather than the exception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Disability
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Subthreshold comorbidity
  • Threshold comorbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)

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