C. de Ruiter
- The hyperventilation syndrome in panic disorder, agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder
- Behaviour Research and Therapy
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The symptom complex of panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder suggests an etiological role for hyperventilation. The present study investigates the overlap between DSM-III-R panic disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder with hyperventilation syndrome (HVS). The anxiety disorder diagnoses were based on a structured interview, and HVS determined by the so-called hyperventilation provocation test (a brief period of voluntary hyperventilation with recognition of symptoms). The overlap rates with HVS were: 48% for panic disorder, 83% for panic disorder with agoraphobia and 82% for generalized anxiety disorder. However, a pilot study on transcutaneous monitoring of carbon dioxide tension leads us to question the validity of the voluntary hyperventilation method that we used to determine HVS-status. It is unclear whether hyperventilation plays an important role in panic and general anxiety, as our overlap findings suggest. For patients who recognize the symptoms induced by voluntary hyperventilation, the hyperventilation provocation procedure provides a therapeutic means of exposure to feared bodily sensations.
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