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Title: Clinically Anxious Asthma Patients: The Role of Catastrophic Cognitions
Author: Dimopoulou, T.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3424 6840
Awarding Body: Coventry University
Current Institution: Coventry University
Date of Award: 2007
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All patients' participated in the quantitative phase were between the ages of 19 and 72 years (mean 43.83) and ha.d an average level of clinical anxiety of 14.06 (a score of 11 indicated the baseline for clinical level.s). Illness specific catastrophic cognitions of physical symptoms made a unique statistical contribution to the prediction of impairment of quality of life of asthma patients (~=.24~, p=0.031) even when disease and demographic variables were accounted for. The sample. of the qualitative phase . consisted of 9 females and 6 males with a mean score of age of 46.5 years. The average level of clinical anxiety for this sample was 15.13. Patients revealed a number of catastrophic cognitions from which the most prevalent physical catastrophic cognitions concerned thoughts of dying (n=9/15) and becoming ill (n=8/15); thoughts of becoming panicky (n=11/15) and being unable to control thinking (n=5/15) were the cognitions mostly reported by the participants about their mental state. Feelings of embarrassment (n=7/15) and fear of negative evaluation from others (7/15) were the most prevalent social catastrophic cognitions. Finally, investigation of the behavioural tactics employed by the participants revealed that the majority of patients displayed high levels of agoraphobic behavior and cognitive avoidance. Discussion and Conclusion This study is the first to date to investigate the role of catastrophic cognitions in asthma quality of life and to identify. the illness specific catastrophic cognitions and the behavioural outcomes of asthma patients with clinical levels of anxiety. Results indicated that the assumptions of the cognitive model of panic can provide some explanation about the effects of anxiety on quality of life of asthma patients. Maladaptive behavioural patterns and emotional distress caused by catastrophic cognitions can affect greatly the quality of life of asthma patients in addition to the physical impairments imposed by their illness. However, further inspection of the interview data showed that perhaps the relationship between anxiety and catastrophic thinking is not so direct as suggested by the cognitive hypothesis of anxiety. Other factors may be related to the development, severity and maintenance of catastrophic cognitions in asthma such as perceptions of'asthma and panic control. The present findings represent an important foundation in predicting asthma patients' cognitive and behaVioural patterns that may significantly'affect their quality of life. Implications for therapeutic interventions and futu're research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available