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Anxiety Sensitivity in Patients with Alcohol Dependence: A Cross-Sectional Case-Control Study

1Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Italy

2Miller Institute for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, Genoa, Italy

3Department of Mental Health, Florence, Italy

4Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Italy


American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014, Vol. 2 No. 6, 260-265
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-2-6-8
Copyright © 2014 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Andrea Pozza, Davide Berardi, Sandro Domenichetti, Davide Dèttore. Anxiety Sensitivity in Patients with Alcohol Dependence: A Cross-Sectional Case-Control Study. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014; 2(6):260-265. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-2-6-8.

Correspondence to: Andrea  Pozza, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Italy. Email: andrea.pozza@unifi.it

Abstract

Anxiety Sensitivity (AS) is a cognitive risk and maintenance factor for anxiety disorders, and it consists of three dimensions: Physical concerns, Cognitive concerns, and Social concerns. No study has investigated the role of AS in individuals with Alcohol-Dependence (A-D), comparing a group of patients with Alcohol-Dependence (A-D) to patients with Anxiety Disorders (AD) and healthy individuals on AS dimensions. Specific dimensions of AS might play a role as cognitive vulnerability and maintenance factors also for A-D-related problems. Examination of AS in patients with A-D might inform clinical practice and public health policy suggesting the integration of treatments specifically targeting AS in A-D patients. The current study aimed to explore the relationship between AS dimensions and A-D. One hundred twenty-five participants, including patients with a diagnosis of A-D (n= 35), patients with a diagnosis of any Anxiety Disorder (AD) (n= 40) and healthy individuals as a control group (CG) (n= 50) completed the ASI-3, STAI-Y and BDI-II. After controlling for anxious traits, A-D patients had stronger Social concerns. Physical and Cognitive concerns appeared, however, significantly more severe among the AD group than the other two groups. Given the strong association between Social concerns and A-D, treatments for A-D patients should also target Social concerns. Study limitations, implications for mental health policy and intervention programs are addressed.

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