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Does help-seeking alter the risk for incident psychopathology in adolescents and young adults with and without fearful spells or panic attacks? Findings from a 10-year prospective-longitudinal community study

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Wittchen,  Hans-Ulrich
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Lieb,  Roselind
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Asselmann, E., Wittchen, H.-U., Lieb, R., Hoefler, M., & Beesdo-Baum, K. (2014). Does help-seeking alter the risk for incident psychopathology in adolescents and young adults with and without fearful spells or panic attacks? Findings from a 10-year prospective-longitudinal community study. JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS, 169, 221-227. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2014.08.012.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-4387-1
Abstract
Background: Although fearful spells (FS) and panic attacks (PA) increase the risk for various mental disorders, few studies have examined whether help-seeking in those with FS/PA attenuates the risk for incident psychopathology. Methods: A community sample of adolescents and young adults (N-2978, aged 14-24 at baseline) was followed up in up to 3 assessment waves over 10 years. FS, PA, psychopathology, and help-seeking were assessed using the DSIVI4V/M-CIDI. Logistic regressions with interaction terms (adjusted for sex and age) were used to test interactions between FS/PA and help-seeking at baseline on predicting incident psychopathology at follow-up. Cases with panic disorder (PD) at baseline were excluded from all analyses. Results: FS/PA at baseline predicted the onset of any disorder, any anxiety disorder, PD, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and depression at follow-up (Odds Ratios, OR 1.62-5.80), FS/ PA and help-seeking at baseline interacted on predicting incident PD (OR=0.09) and depression (OR=0.22) at follow-up in a way that FS/PA only predicted the respective disorders in individuals not seeking help at baseline. In those with FS/PA, a higher number of panic symptoms interacted with helpseeking on predicting incident PD (OR=0.63) in a way that a higher number of panic symptoms only increased the risk for PD in those without help-seeking at baseline. Limitations: Help-seeking at baseline was not restricted to panic-specific interventions, but included treatment due to other psychological problems as well Conclusions: Findings suggest that early help-seeking might modify psychopathology trajectories and prevent incident disorders in high-risk individuals with FS/PA. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved