Panic projects

The role of dysfunctional associations and interpretations in panic disorder: An etiological approach

Panic-related associations and interpretations are supposed to play an important role in the aetiology and maintenance of panic disorder (PD), and there is a large body of research examining these dysfunctional cognitive phenomena. However, results are rather mixed and seem limited to a narrow range of measures. Hence, there is a great need to develop innovative measures for cross-validation and triangulation of results.

Accordingly, this research line includes various assessment studies in at-risk and clinical samples, testing novel and improved paradigms targeting panic-related associations and interpretations and their correlations with symptoms of anxiety and psychophysiological markers. Using a longitudinal, clinical approach, changes in panic-related associations and interpretations over the course of treatment in PD and anxious control patients will be investigated. Finally, via experimental research in healthy samples, panic-related interpretation will be manipulated via a computerized interpretation training, and the effects of the manipulation on symptoms of anxiety and related cognitive markers will be examined.