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Ind Psychiatry J. 2019 Jan-Jun;28(1):29-36. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_31_19. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Correlates of worry and functional somatic symptoms in generalized anxiety disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.

Abstract

Background:

Worry and functional somatic symptoms (FSS) are important clinical features of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Although there is literature on the prevalence of worry and FSS in GAD, there is limited data on psychological correlates of worry and somatic symptoms in patients with GAD.

Objective:

The purpose of this research was to evaluate the relationship of worry and FSS with somatosensory amplification, health anxiety (hypochondriasis), and alexithymia in patients with GAD.

Methods:

Forty patients with the diagnosis of GAD were assessed with Penn State Worry Questionnaire, Bradford Somatic Inventory (BSI), GAD-7 Scale, somatosensory amplification Scale (SSAS), Whiteley Index (WI), and Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 Hindi version (TAS-H-20).

Results:

Worry had significant positive correlation with total scores of BSI, GAD-7 scale, TAS-H-20 subscale 1, SSAS, and WI. Younger age of onset was associated with higher FSS as assessed on BSI. BSI total score had positive correlation with total scores of GAD-7 scale, TAS-H-20 and its subscales, SSAS, WI, and with the severity grades of BSI and GAD.

Conclusion:

Worry and FSS are associated with somatosensory amplification and hypochondriasis. In addition, somatic symptoms are associated with alexithymia.

KEYWORDS:

Alexithymia; generalized anxiety disorder; health anxiety; hypochondriasis; somatic symptoms; somatosensory amplification; worry

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