The authors thank Rob Stroobants, Marc Bennet, Jef Vandecruys, and Goedele Vandersloten for their assistance in the data collection, data analyses and proofreading.
Fear of suffocation alters respiration during obstructed breathing
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
Copyright © 2012 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 49, Issue 6, pages 829–832, June 2012
How to Cite
Pappens, M., Smets, E., Van Den Bergh, O. and Van Diest, I. (2012), Fear of suffocation alters respiration during obstructed breathing. Psychophysiology, 49: 829–832. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2012.01355.x
- Issue published online: 3 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Received: 24 MAR 2011
- Fear of suffocation;
- Inspiratory resistive load
We aimed to investigate whether fear of suffocation predicts healthy persons' respiratory and affective responses to obstructed breathing as evoked by inspiratory resistive loads. Participants (N = 27 women, ages between 18 and 21 years) completed the Fear of Suffocation scale and underwent 16 trials in which an inspiratory resistive load of 15 cmH2O/l/s (small) or 40 cmH2O/l/s (large) was added to the breathing circuit for 40 s. Fear of suffocation was associated with higher arousal ratings for both loads. Loaded breathing was associated with a decrease in minute ventilation, but progressively less so for participants scoring higher on fear of suffocation when breathing against the large load. The present findings document a potentially panicogenic mechanism that may maintain and worsen respiratory discomfort in persons with fear of suffocation.