Anxiety sensitivity as a predictor of the clincal course of panic disorder: A 1-year follow-up study

Carlos Israel Pérez Benítez, M. Tracie Shea, Susan Raffa, Richard Rende, Ingrid R. Dyck, Holly J. Ramsawh, Maria Orlando Edelen, Martin B. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: There is evidence that negative affect (NA) and anxiety sensitivity (AS) predict the development of anxiety disorders, particularly panic disorder (PD). The main purpose ofthis study was to examine whether NA and AS will also predict the clinical course ofPD. Methods: Participants were 136 individuals with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of PD (with or without agoraphobia) enrolled in a naturalistic and longitudinal study ofanxiety disorders, the Harvard/Brown Anxiety Research Project (HARP). Participants were administered the Anxiety Sensitivity Index and the Negative Affect Scales ofthe Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-Expanded Form (PANAS-X-NA) and their percentage of time in PD episode was followed for 1 year after the administration ofthe measures. Results: Multiple regression analyses indicated that AS, but not NA, was a significant predictor of percentage of time in PD episode after controlling for previous time in PD episodes, comorbid depression, other anxiety disorders, and exposure to psychopharmacological and behavioral treatments. As expected, the Physical Concerns subscale ofthe Anxiety Sensitivity Index had a significant independent contribution in predicting the course ofthe disorder. Conclusions: Overall, these findings suggest that AS, as a unique construct, may be predictive ofthe amount oftime patients are in episode of PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Clinical course
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Negative affect
  • Panic disorder
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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