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A cognitive model of brief psychological intervention in anxiety sensitivity treatment


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Markanović, Dragana. (2016). A cognitive model of brief psychological intervention in anxiety sensitivity treatment. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Psychology.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij psihologije) [mentor Jokić-Begić, Nataša].

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Anxiety sensitivity is the fear of anxiety and anxiety-related physiological arousal symptoms, stemming from the belief that such symptoms will result in aversive somatic, psychological, or social consequences. Elevated levels of anxiety sensitivity have been considered as a cognitive risk factor for the development and maintenance of various psychopathological problems, particularly anxiety disorders. Hence, aiming at reducing anxiety sensitivity may be essential to their prevention and treatment. Studies suggest that high anxiety sensitivity can be successfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the results of brief computer-based interventions are especially promising. So the aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a brief computer-based cognitive-behavioral intervention aimed at the reducing anxiety sensitivity in high anxiety sensitive individuals, and to prospectively evaluate the effects of this intervention on the incidence of various psychological problems during a 12-month follow-up period. Sixty-three individuals with elevated anxiety sensitivity were randomized to one of three conditions: a psychoeducation targeting anxiety sensitivity (treatment group), an education on stress and health (placebo control group), and no-treatment control condition. Each intervention was delivered via computer and was completed in a single 45-minute session. Various self-report (anxiety sensitivity, anxiety sensitivity knowledge, anxiety, global distress) and behavioral measures were administered at pre- and post-treatment, as well as at 7- and 12-month follow-up. One half of participants from treatment group and one half from placebo control group received an educative booster session at 7-month follow-up. Compared to both control groups, the treatment group had significantly higher knowledge on anxiety sensitivity at both post-treatment and follow-up period. Psychoeducation aiming at reducing anxiety sensitivit did not result in significant decrease in a fear of anxiety-related bodily symptoms, but it led to significant improvement of general, day-to-day functioning and functioning in social relationships, as well as improvement in general psychological distress. The results of this study are promising for the preventative efficacy of a brief, computer-aided intervention. However, it seems that psychoeducation only is not sufficient for substantial reductions in anxiety sensitivity. Practical implications of these findings will be discussed, as well as limitations of the study.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive model
Subjects: Psychology > Klinička psihologija
Psychology > Zdravstvena psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Jokić-Begić, Nataša
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij psihologije
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2016 11:13
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2016 11:13

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