Emotional responding to biological challenge as a function of panic disorder and smoking

Michael J Zvolensky, Ellen W Leen-Feldner, Matthew T Feldner, Marcel O Bonn-Miller, C W Lejuez, Christopher W Kahler, Gregory Stuart
Journal of Anxiety Disorders 2004, 18 (1): 19-32
The present investigation evaluated anxious and fearful responding to bodily sensations as a function of panic disorder (PD) and smoking status. Participants completed a voluntary hyperventilation procedure that elicits panic-relevant bodily sensations. Psychophysiological data were collected throughout the study procedures. Assessments of anxiety and bodily distress were conducted pre-challenge baseline, post-hyperventilation, and during a recovery period following the challenge. Results indicated that smokers with PD reported greater levels of anxiety and bodily distress than smokers without PD and than nonsmokers with PD at the post-challenge assessment and recovery period. No differences in autonomic responding were evident during the challenge or in the recovery phase. In terms of rate of recovery, the linear decrease in anxiety, but not bodily distress, was significantly more steep for nonsmokers with PD than for smokers with PD. These findings are discussed in relation to better understanding the potential role that smoking may play in terms of anxious and fearful responding to bodily sensations.

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