Life events and panic disorder/agoraphobia.


A patient-rated checklist adapted from the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview was used to assess frequency and desirability of life events in the 12 months preceding an index evaluation of a large sample of patients with a DSM-III diagnosis of panic disorder or agoraphobia with panic, on average 12 years after onset of illness. A total of 1,360 events were reported; 25% were considered most undesirable, whereas 22% were estimated to be most desirable. Negative life events were predominantly health-related issues and interpersonal conflicts. Making new friends, having significant success at work, and taking up a new activity were examples of positive events. Correlations of life events with clinical and demographic variables and with symptom rating scales were also analyzed. Negative life events were associated with greater psychopathology and neuroticism scores. Positive life events were associated with greater extraversion scores, more years of education, better employment status, and less functional impairment due to symptoms. This exploratory study does not allow interpretation from an etiologic perspective. It begins to shed light on the possible role of life events in the course of the disorder.

Cite this paper

@article{Lteif1995LifeEA, title={Life events and panic disorder/agoraphobia.}, author={G N Lteif and Matig R Mavissakalian}, journal={Comprehensive psychiatry}, year={1995}, volume={36 2}, pages={118-22} }