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Keywords:

  • social phobia;
  • essential tremor;
  • cervical dystonia;
  • hemifacial spasm

Abstract

This is a comparison study that is aimed to investigate and compare the frequency and severity of secondary social anxiety disorder (SAD) in patients with hyperkinesias, which is associated with a significant sense of disfigurement and compromised social interaction. Patients with hemifacial spasm (n = 20), cervical dystonia (n = 20), and essential tremor (n = 20) were evaluated by SCID-I, Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Rating Scales, and Sheehan Disability Scale. The DSM-IV H criterion excluding social anxiety related to a medical condition was disregarded for the diagnosis of secondary SAD. The control group (n = 60) consisted of matched healthy subjects. The frequency of the diagnosis and severity of symptoms were compared and associations with sociodemographic and clinical factors were explored. There was no difference between three patient groups in terms of the frequency or the severity of secondary SAD. Younger age and depressive symptoms were associated with the severity of secondary SAD, while severity or duration of the movement disorder or social disability was not. This study revealed a high frequency of secondary SAD in hyperkinesias, emphasizing the need for psychiatric assessment, especially for younger and depressed patients, who seem to be at greater risk. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society