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SCOPUS 학술저널

Differences in Functional Level and Central Symptom of Network Structures in the Patients Seeking Treatment for Panic Disorder Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Objective Mental health problems such as anxiety, panic, and depression have been exacerbated by the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to compare the symptom severities and overall function before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among patients with panic disorder (PD) seeking treatment compared to healthy controls (HCs). Methods Baseline data were collected from the two groups (patients with PD and HCs) in two separate periods: before COVID-19 (Jan 2016-Dec 2019) and during COVID-19 (Mar 2020-Jul 2022). A total 453 participants (before COVID-19: 246 [139 patients with PD and 107 HCs], during COVID-19: 207 [86 patients with PD and 121 HCs]) was included. Scales for panic and depressive symptoms and overall function were administered. Additionally, network analyses were performed to compare the two groups within the patients with PD. Results The results of two-way analysis of variance analyses showed that patients with PD enrolled during COVID-19 showed higher levels of interoceptive fear and lower overall functioning. In addition, a network comparison test revealed that a significantly high strength and expected influence for agoraphobia and avoidance in patients with PD during COVID-19. Conclusion This study suggested that the overall function could have worsened, and the importance of agoraphobia and avoidance as a central symptom may have increased in patients with PD seeking treatment during COVID-19.

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