Quality of life and the anxiety disorders
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Quality of life (QoL) is a concept that has become increasingly used in mental health care. Recent studies have compared the impact of different anxiety disorders on different domains of QoL; however, instruments generally used to assess QoL in this population have varying specificity, considerable redundancy, and occasionally inappropriate content. Three hundred and sixty consecutive admissions to an anxiety disorders clinic were assessed. Participants and clinicians completed a number of QoL measures. Results indicated that impairment measures designed for use with anxiety-disordered samples in fact assess only occupational functioning and relationships and activities outside of occupation, and that individuals with Social Phobia (SP) were more impaired on the latter than those with Panic Disorder (PD). Furthermore, only Social Phobia accounted for unique variance in the three Medical Outcome Study Health Survey (MOS) subscales relevant to quality of life. Of the MOS subscales relevant to symptoms, mood regulation, physical functioning, and pain were associated with compromised overall QoL.
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