The Mechanisms Underlying Changes in Broad Dimensions of Psychopathology During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder

Sei Ogawa, Risa Imai, Masako Suzuki, Toshi A. Furukawa, Tatsuo Akechi


Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) patients commonly have broad dimensions of psychopathology. This study investigated the relationship between a wide range of psychopathology and attention or cognitions during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for SAD.

Methods: We treated 96 SAD patients with group CBT. Using multiple regression analysis, we examined the associations between the changes in broad dimensions of psychopathology and the changes in self-focused attention or maladaptive cognitions in the course of CBT.

Results: The reduction in self-focused attention was related to the decreases in somatization, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety, phobic anxiety, and global severity index. The reduction in maladaptive cognitions was associated with decreases in interpersonal sensitivity, depression, and global severity index.

Conclusions: The present study suggests that changes in self-focused attention and maladaptive cognitions may predict broad dimensions of psychopathology changes in SAD patients over the course of CBT. For the purpose of improving a wide range of psychiatric symptoms with SAD patients in CBT, it may be useful to decrease self-focus attention and maladaptive cognitions.

J Clin Med Res. 2017;9(12):1019-1021


Social anxiety disorder; Cognitive behavioural therapy; Broad dimensions of psychopathology; Mechanism

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