German Journal of Psychiatry    ISSN 1455-1033

2000, Vol. 3, Supplement 1, S6

Formal aspects of everyday-worries. Preliminary analyses of worries of patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Depression, and other anxiety disorders.

T. Bär, D. Zubrägel, M. Linden

Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Psychiatry

Background: Formal aspects of worry are important for the psychotherapeutic treatment and theoretical considerations of psychiatric disorders, especially Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD). Although it is known that worry also is an important symptom in depressive disorders, only few studies examine worry-characteristics in depressive patients.

Method: A questionnaire measuring formal aspects of everyday-worry (frequency, intensity, controllability, worry-chains, perception as reasonable, internal and external attributions) in five situations was developed. The questionnaire was given to patients with GAD (n=30), depression (n=22), other anxiety disorders (n=21) and persons without psychiatric disorders (n=20).

Results: Preliminary data analyses show equal amounts of worry-frequency, intensity, worry-chains and controllability between GAD-patients and depressive patients. GAD-Patients had higher levels of internal attributions and perceived their worries to be less reasonable than persons without psychiatric disorders. Levels of external attributions for worry in specific situations did not meaningfully differ between the observed groups. Patients with other anxiety disorders also had slightly higher values in worry-frequency, intensity, uncontrollability and worry-chains than persons without psychiatric disorders.

Discussion: Formal aspects of worry did not differ between GAD-patients and depressive patients. Further investigations concerning the role of worry in these disorders are promising. To some extent, worry may also be a disorder-related problem in other anxiety disorders than GAD.