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Keywords:

  • disability;
  • quality of life;
  • social anxiety disorder;
  • social phobia;
  • anxiety disorders

Abstract

Although disability is a concept most often associated with role dysfunction, and quality of life is most often associated with life satisfaction, these terms are frequently used interchangeably in the literature. In contrast, this study proposes that disability and quality of life are independent but related constructs. Additionally, we propose that disability partially mediates the relationship between symptoms and quality of life. That is, greater symptoms are associated with more impairment, which is, in turn, associated with less satisfaction with one's life. Ninety-six individuals with social anxiety disorder were given measures of social anxiety symptoms, disability, and quality of life. The results of the study suggest that disability and quality of life are, in fact, distinct concepts, and the experience of disability partially mediates the relationship between a patient's experience of symptoms and his or her perceived life satisfaction. Depression and Anxiety 18:46–50, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.