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					COMPARING IMPAIRMENT IN PURE SPECIFIC PHOBIA AND SPECIFIC

PHOBIA WITH COMORBID DISORDERS

M. Chartier M.Sc. and K. Kjernisted M.D., Department of Community Health Sciences

and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Canada

Introduction: Previous research has indicated that specific phobia is associated with
significant levels of impairment. Since specific phobia is also associated with high levels
of comorbidity, it is difficult to discern how much of the impairment is attributable to the
other psychiatric disorders. In this study, we compared impairment in respondents with
pure specific phobia and respondents with specific phobia with comorbid disorders.
Methods: A population based sample of 8116 residents (age 15-64) participated in the
Mental Health Supplement to the Ontario Health Survey. The Composite International
Diagnostic Interview was used to make 12-month DSM-III-R diagnoses for specific
phobia, other anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse disorders and bulimia.
Logistic regression analyses were used to study the relationship between impairment in
respondents with pure specific phobia and specific phobia with comorbid disorders.
Results: Greater amounts of impairment were found in respondents with specific phobia
with comorbid disorders compared to respondents with pure specific phobia.
Respondents with pure specific phobia compared to respondents with no psychiatric
disorders were 2.5 times more likely to have lower well-being scores, 2.8 times more
likely to have lower family functioning scores and 4 times more likely to have less life
satisfaction.
Conclusion: Specific phobia even in the absence of other disorders is associated with
significant levels of impairment in many aspects of their lives.

				
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