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Anxiety Sensitivity and Sleep Quality: Independent and Interactive Predictors of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Babson, Kimberly A. PhD*†; Boden, Matthew T. PhD*‡; Woodward, Steven PhD; Alvarez, Jennifer PhD§; Bonn-Miller, Marcel PhD*‡

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: January 2013 - Volume 201 - Issue 1 - p 48–51
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31827ab059
Original Articles

A cardinal feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is decreased sleep quality. Anxiety sensitivity (AS) is one factor that has shown early theoretical and empirical promise in better understanding the relation between sleep quality and PTSD outcomes. The current study is the first to test the independent and interactive effects of sleep quality and AS on PTSD symptoms. Consistent with hypotheses, AS and sleep quality were found to be independent and interactive predictors of PTSD symptom severity in our sample of male military veterans seeking treatment for PTSD. Slope analyses revealed that AS was differentially related to PTSD symptom severity as a function of quality of sleep. The veterans with good sleep quality and relatively lower levels of AS had the lowest level of PTSD symptoms, whereas the veterans with poor sleep quality and low AS evidenced severity of PTSD symptoms similar to those with high AS.

*Center for Health Care Evaluation, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, CA; †Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA; ‡National Center for PTSD, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, CA; and §VA Palo Alto Health Care System, CA.

Send reprint requests to Kimberly A. Babson, PhD, 795 Willow Rd (152-MPD), Menlo Park, CA 94025. Email:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.