Using a hybrid model to investigate the comorbidity and symptom overlap between social phobia and the other anxiety disorders and unipolar mood disorders
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New hybrid models of psychopathology have been proposed that combine the current categorical approach with symptom dimensions that are common across various disorders. The present study investigated the new hybrid model of social anxiety in a large sample of participants with anxiety disorders and unipolar mood disorders to improve understanding of the comorbidity and symptom overlap between social phobia (SOC) and the other anxiety disorders and unipolar mood disorders. Six hundred and eighty two participants from a specialized outpatient clinic for anxiety treatment completed a semi-structured diagnostic interview and the Multidimensional Assessment of Social Anxiety (MASA). A hybrid model symptom profile was identified for SOC and compared with each of the other principal diagnoses. Significant group differences were identified on each of the MASA scales. Differences also were identified when common sets of comorbidities were compared within participants diagnosed with SOC. The findings demonstrated the influence of both the principal diagnosis of SOC and other anxiety disorders and unipolar mood disorders as well as the influence of comorbid diagnoses with SOC on the six symptom dimensions. These findings highlight the need to shift to transdiagnostic assessment and treatment practices that go beyond the disorder-specific focus of the current categorical diagnostic systems.
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