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Psychol Med. 2008 Jan;38(1):15-28. Epub 2007 Nov 2.

Social fears and social phobia in the USA: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. ruscio@psych.upenn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite heightened awareness of the clinical significance of social phobia, information is still lacking about putative subtypes, functional impairment, and treatment-seeking. New epidemiologic data on these topics are presented from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R).

METHOD:

The NCS-R is a nationally representative household survey fielded in 2001-2003. The World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) was used to assess 14 performance and interactional fears and DSM-IV social phobia.

RESULTS:

The estimated lifetime and 12-month prevalence of social phobia are 12.1% and 7.1% respectively. Performance and interactional fears load onto a single latent factor, and there is little evidence for distinct subtypes based either on the content or the number of fears. Social phobia is associated with significant psychiatric co-morbidity, role impairment, and treatment-seeking, all of which have a dose-response relationship with number of social fears. However, social phobia is the focus of clinical attention in only about half of cases where treatment is obtained. Among non-co-morbid cases, those with the most fears were least likely to receive social phobia treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Social phobia is a common, under-treated disorder that leads to significant functional impairment. Increasing numbers of social fears are associated with increasingly severe manifestations of the disorder.

PMID:
17976249
PMCID:
PMC2262178
DOI:
10.1017/S0033291707001699
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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