Effects of Attentional Focus on Emotional Responding to a Biological Challenge in Panic Disorder
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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The principal aim of this study was to assess whether attentional focus affects fearful responding. Specifically, the present study tested a cognitive model of panicClark, 1986 to determine whether attentional focus affects fearful responding to heightened somatic cues. The study compared panic disorder subjects and nonclinical controls at baseline during inhalation of 35 CO2 gas on measures of subjective and psychophysiological responding. A 2 panic Disorder versus Normal Controls X 3 Internal Focus versus External Focus versus No Focus factorial design was employed to test for main effects of group status, instructional set, and their interaction. All subjects were assessed before and after the experimental manipulation on measures of anxiety, panic, cognition, attentional focus, physical symptoms and psychophysiological measures.