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Interpersonal Subtypes of Anxiety Disorder Patients

Relationship to Assessment and Treatment Variables

Pitman, Seth R. MA; Hilsenroth, Mark J. PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2016 - Volume 204 - Issue 7 - p 513–518
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000503
Original Articles

We attempted to replicate earlier findings of interpersonal subtypes in patients with anxiety disorder (Psychotherapy. 2011;48:304–310) and examine whether these subtypes are characterized by different types of pathology and respond differently to treatment. Interpersonal problems were measured by the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (Inventory of Interpersonal Problems Manual. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Cooperation; 2000) in a sample of 31 patients with anxiety disorder. Results demonstrated the existence of 4 interpersonal subtypes. The subtypes did not differ in severity of anxiety and global levels of symptoms at pretreatment or in Reliable Change Index of anxiety symptoms over the course of treatment. However, they were significantly different in terms of overall interpersonal problems (p = 0.004). Regarding treatment variables, half of the patients in the nonassertive cluster discontinued treatment prematurely. The number of psychotherapy sessions attended was significantly different across the 4 clusters (p = 0.04), with socially avoidant patients attending significantly greater number of sessions.

Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University, Hy Weinberg Center, Garden City, NY.

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