Quality of Life in Anxiety Disorders: A Comparison of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Panic DisorderLochner C. · Mogotsi M. · du Toit P.L. · Kaminer D. · Niehaus D.J. · Stein D.J.
MRC Unit on Anxiety Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa
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Background: There is growing recognition that the anxiety disorders are disabling disorders associated with substantial morbidity and impaired quality of life (QOL). Nevertheless, there have been few studies comparing QOL across these conditions. Sampling and Methods: 337 outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; n = 220), panic disorder (PD; n = 53), or social anxiety disorder (SAD; n = 64) were compared using a number of assessment scales to compare objective and subjective impairment in QOL. The association of QOL with symptom severity and comorbid depression was also assessed. Results: The extent of impairment due to OCD, PD or SAD appears to be similar across the QOL scales. However, various domains are differentially affected in each of the disorders; OCD patients had more impairment in family life and activities of daily living; SAD patients had more impairment in social life and leisure activities, and PD patients were less able to avoid the use of nonprescribed drugs. QOL was lower in patients with increased symptom severity as well as in those with comorbid depression. Conclusions: While the extent of impairment appears similar across a number of different anxiety disorders, characteristic symptoms of each disorder may be associated with differential impairment of various domains of function, and may require specifically tailored interventions.
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