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"But it might be a heart attack": Intolerance of uncertainty and panic disorder symptoms

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark FreestonORCiD


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Panic disorder models describe interactions between feared anxiety-related physical sensations (i.e., anxiety sensitivity; AS) and catastrophic interpretations therein. Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) has been implicated as necessary for catastrophic interpretations in community samples. The current study examined relationships between IU, AS, and panic disorder symptoms in a clinical sample. Participants had a principal diagnosis of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia (n = 132; 66% women). IU was expected to account for significant variance in panic symptoms controlling for AS. AS was expected to mediate the relationship between IU and panic symptoms, whereas ID was expected to moderate the relationship between AS and panic symptoms. Hierarchical linear regressions indicated that IU accounted for significant unique variance in panic symptoms relative to AS, with comparable part correlations. Mediation and moderation models were also tested and suggested direct and indirect effects of IU on panic symptoms through AS; however, an interaction effect was not supported. The current cross-sectional evidence supports a role for IU in panic symptoms, independent of AS. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carleton RN, Duranceau S, Freeston MH, Boelen PA, McCabe RE, Antony MM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Anxiety Disorders

Year: 2014

Volume: 28

Issue: 5

Pages: 463-470

Print publication date: 01/06/2014

Online publication date: 21/05/2014

Acceptance date: 21/04/2014

ISSN (print): 0887-6185

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7897

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.04.006


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