Hendriks GJ, Keijsers GP, Kampman M, Voshaar RC, Hoogduin CA
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2010 Dec;18(12):1155-8
OBJECTIVES: To compare the agoraphobic cognitions of younger and older patients suffering from panic disorder with agoraphobia by means of existing questionnaires.
METHOD: Agoraphobic cognitions were assessed using the Agoraphobic Cognitions Questionnaire (ACQ) in 205 patients confirmed with confirmed panic disorder with agoraphobia (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, Text Revision) and analyzed at the item level applying a Bonferroni correction.
RESULTS: The 48 patients who were older than 60 years had a significantly lower mean (SD) ACQ total score than their younger counterparts (1.6 [0.5] versus 2.1 [0.6]; t = 5.7, df = 203, p < 0.001), with their scores on the items fear of going crazy, acting foolishly, losing control, passing out, and brain tumors (p < 0.004) being significantly lower.
CONCLUSION: The differential effect at the ACQ item level suggests that some cognitions seem less relevant for agoraphobic panic disorder in later life. Future research should explore whether and which agerelated cognitions are missed in the current questionnaires.