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01-08-2012 | Review | Uitgave 6/2012

Quality of Life Research 6/2012

Quality of life in panic disorder: looking beyond symptom remission

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2012
Julia Davidoff, Scott Christensen, David N. Khalili, Jaidyn Nguyen, Waguih William IsHak



Panic Disorder (PD) is a classic example of a disease where symptom remission may be achieved, yet patient quality of life (QOL) remains low, providing further support for the need to measure QOL as an additional outcome in patient care. The objectives of this review are to examine the substantial QOL impairments in PD and to determine whether modern treatments for PD, which have been proven to achieve symptom remission, have been shown to restore QOL.


We identified studies on QOL in PD from 1980 to 2010 by searching MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed databases.


The literature reveals substantial QOL impairments in PD, often resulting in poor sense of health, frequent utilization of medical services, occupational deficiency, financial dependency, and marital strife. Modern therapies have been demonstrated to achieve symptom remission and improve QOL in PD; however, post-treatment QOL is still significantly lower than community averages.


QOL needs to be added as an essential outcome measure in patient care. Further research should be conducted to better understand the nature of comorbidities in PD as well as to determine whether additional interventions that have been studied in other psychiatric disorders, such as exercise, meditation, yoga, humor, massage, and nutritional supplements, can be utilized to improve QOL in PD to normal community levels.

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