Frequency and clinical correlates of adult separation anxiety in a sample of 508 outpatients with mood and anxiety disorders

Authors


Stefano Pini, Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100 Pisa, Italy.
E-mail: s.pini@med.unipi.it

Abstract

Pini S, Abelli M, Shear KM, Cardini A, Lari L, Gesi C, Muti M, Calugi S, Galderisi S, Troisi A, Bertolino A, Cassano GB. Frequency and clinical correlates of adult separation anxiety in a sample of 508 outpatients with mood and anxiety disorders.

Objective:  To evaluate the frequency and clinical correlates of adult separation anxiety disorder in a large cohort of patients with mood and anxiety disorders.

Method:  Overall, 508 outpatients with anxiety and mood disorders were assessed by the structured clinical interview for diagnostic and statistical manual (IV edition) axis I disorders for principal diagnosis and comorbidity and by other appropriate instruments for separation anxiety into adulthood or childhood.

Results:  Overall, 105 subjects (20.7%) were assessed as having adult separation anxiety disorder without a history of childhood separation anxiety and 110 (21.7%) had adult separation anxiety disorder with a history of childhood separation anxiety. Adult separation anxiety was associated with severe role impairment in work and social relationships after controlling for potential confounding effect of anxiety comorbidity.

Conclusion:  Adult separation anxiety disorder is likely to be much more common in adults than previously recognized. Research is needed to better understand the relationships of this condition with other co-occurring affective disorders.

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