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The prognosis and incidence of social phobia in an elderly population. A 5-year follow-up

Authors

  • B. Karlsson,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • R. Sigström,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • M. Waern,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • S. Östling,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • D. Gustafson,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • I. Skoog

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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Björn Karlsson, Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit, Neuropsykiatri SU/Mölndal, Wallinsgatan 6, SE-431 41 Mölndal, Sweden.
E-mail: karlsson.bjorn@gmail.com

Abstract

Karlsson B, Sigström R, Waern M, Östling S, Gustafson D, Skoog I. The prognosis and incidence of social phobia in an elderly population. A 5-year follow-up.

Objective:  To examine the prognosis and incidence of social fears and phobia in an elderly population sample followed for 5 years.

Method:  A general population sample (N = 612) of non-demented men (baseline age 70) and women (baseline age 70 and 78–86) was investigated in 2000–2001 and in 2005–2006 with semi-structured psychiatric examinations including the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale, and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Social phobia was diagnosed according to the DSM-IV criteria.

Results:  Among nine individuals with DSM-IV social phobia in 2000, 5 (55.6%) had no social fears in 2005, and 1 (11.1%) still met the criteria for DSM-IV social phobia. Among individuals without DSM-IV social phobia in 2000 (N = 603), 12 (2.0%) had DSM-IV social phobia in 2005.

Conclusion:  These findings challenge the notion that social phobia is a chronic disorder with rare occurrence in old age.

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