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Psychopathology. 2009;42(2):99-107. doi: 10.1159/000203342. Epub 2009 Feb 19.

Psychodynamic vulnerability factors in the development of panic disorders--a prospective trial in patients after vestibular neuritis.

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  • 1Center for Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, St. Joseph Hospital, Berlin, Germany. f.godemann@alexius.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In our 2-year prospective study of 80 patients admitted consecutively to our clinic with an episode of acute vestibular neuritis, a total of 8 patients later developed a panic disorder according to DSM-III-R criteria. The goal of our analysis was to determine whether certain conflict patterns (e.g. in the area of autonomy vs. dependence) or deficient psychological structure could predict later panic disorder, as might be expected based on psychodynamic theory.

SAMPLING AND METHODS:

Between 4 and 8 weeks after the acute vestibular episode, we evaluated all patients using operationalized psychodynamic diagnostics (OPD). With the different axes of the OPD system, we were able to assess patients' experience of illness (Axis I), potential conflicts (Axis III), and psychological structure (Axis IV) in a semiquantitative manner.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:

Poor psychosocial integration, a lack of social support, a high burden of suffering, and moderate to severe impairment of self-experience were able to account for 32.1% (Nagelkerkes R(2)=0.321) of variance in the development of panic disorder over the course of 2 years. However, contrary to what might have been expected based on psychodynamic theory, patients who later developed a panic disorder did not exhibit any differences in their Axis III or IV scores compared to patients who remained psychologically healthy.

PMID:
19225244
DOI:
10.1159/000203342
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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