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Revista do Hospital das Clínicas

On-line version ISSN 1678-9903


SAVOIA, Mariângela Gentil  and  BERNIK, Márcio. Adverse life events and coping skills in panic disorder. Rev. Hosp. Clin. [online]. 2004, vol.59, n.6, pp.337-340. ISSN 1678-9903.

Research literature and clinical experience shows that panic patients are often able to identify stressors that preceded the onset of their first attacks. In this study we investigated the relation between life events, coping skills, and panic disorder. METHODS: Forty-tree panic patients were compared with 29 control subjects regarding the occurrence and the impact of stressful life events in a 1-year period preceding the onset of panic attacks using the Social Readjustment Rating Scale and London Life Event and Difficulty Schedule. Coping skills were measured using the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. RESULTS: No differences were observed between panic patients and controls regarding the number of reported stressful life events in the previous year. Panic patients compared to controls reported loss of social support as the most meaningful class of events significantly more often. In response to stressful situations, panic patients more often used coping skills judged as ineffective. CONCLUSIONS: The present study suggests that the type of life event and the coping skills used in response to them, more than the occurrence of stressful events itself, may be associated with the onset of panic disorder.

Keywords : Panic disorder; Life events; Coping skills; Predictors.

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