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A Preliminary Attempt to Experimentally Induce Post Event Processing in Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Karen Rowa (a1), Martin M. Antony (a2), Richard P. Swinson (a1) and Randi E. McCabe (a1)
Abstract

Background: Post event processing (PEP) in social anxiety disorder involves rumination about social events after the fact, and is thought to be a crucial feature of the maintenance of the disorder. Aims: The current experiment aimed to manipulate the use of PEP in individuals with social anxiety disorder. Method: Forty-one individuals with social anxiety disorder completed a videotaped speech. Anxiety ratings and degree of PEP were measured after the task as well as the day following the experiment. Results: Individuals in the distract group reported a greater decrease in anxiety from baseline to post-experimental task than those asked to focus. Individuals in the distract group also reported higher PEP about the task than those instructed to complete a focus task, which appeared to be partially accounted for by baseline differences in symptom severity and state anxiety. Degree of PEP was positively correlated with anxiety ratings, both after the experimental task as well as 24 hours later. Conclusions: These findings suggest that naturalistic PEP is problematic for individuals with social anxiety disorder, especially for those with more severe symptoms. A distraction task, even with breakthrough PEP, appears to have useful short-term effects on anxiety reduction as compared to focus instructions.

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Corresponding author
Reprint requests to Karen Rowa, Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre, 6th Floor Fontbonne Building, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, 50 Charlton Avenue, East Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4A6, Canada. E-mail: krowa@stjoes.ca
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

F. Brozovich and R. G. Heimberg (2008). An analysis of post-event processing in social anxiety disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 891903.

K. M. Connor , J. R. T. Davidson , E. Churchill , A. Sherwood , E. Foa and R. H. Weisler (2000). Psychometric properties of the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN): new self-rating scale. British Journal of Psychiatry, 176, 379386.

N. L. Kocovski , M. B. MacKenzie and N. A. Rector (2011). Rumination and distraction periods immediately following a speech task: effect on post-event processing in social anxiety. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 40, 4556.

P. M. McEvoy and P. Kingsep (2006). The post-event processing questionnaire in a clinic sample with social phobia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 16891697.

Q. J. J. Wong and M. L. Moulds (2009). Impact of rumination versus distraction on anxiety and maladaptive self-beliefs in socially anxious individuals. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 861867.

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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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