Panic Disorder (PD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by spontaneous and unexpected panic attacks. Agoraphobia is the fear of being in a place or setting where escaping or receiving help may be difficult in case of a panic attack. Studies on the effect of the relationship between agoraphobia and PD on the disease process have shown that patients with PD accompanied by agoraphobia have earlier disease onset, more severe symptoms, a higher rate of comorbidity and chronicity, and a more negative prognosis in general. The purpose of this study was to compare sociodemographic and clinical characteristic of panic disorder patients with and without agoraphobia. The sample of the study consists of 100 patients who have applied to the psychiatry clinic of the Lutfi Kirdar Kartal Training and Research Hospital and who have been diagnosed with only PD or PD with agoraphobia by clinical interview (SCID-I) based on the DSM-IV. The sociodemographic data form, Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGIS), Global Assessment Scale (GAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BECK-D), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BECK-A), and Panic and Agoraphobia Scale were used for all patients. The incidence of agoraphobia accompanying PD was found to be 44% in our study. The PD with agoraphobia group had significantly worse results compared to the PD without agoraphobia group in terms of CGIS, GAS, and BECK-A scores. Also, the PD with agoraphobia group had a higher mean total PAS score and higher mean agoraphobic avoidance, anticipatory anxiety, disability, and functional avoidance (health concerns) sub-scale scores.
panic disorder;agoraphobia;incidence;clinical effect