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Academic Highlights: Panic Disorder: Making Clinical Sense of the Latest Research

J Clin Psychiatry 1997;58:127-134

In his opening remarks, Jonathan R. T. Davidson, M.D., noted that the concept of quality of life—“the impact of illnesses on everyday life, everyday functioning, personal contentment, and health-seeking behaviors”—has only recently received recognition as an important consideration in the treatment of all anxiety disorders, including panic disorder.

According to Dr. Davidson, quality of life is generally measured in three separate domains: personal happiness, which may be assessed in part by examining the patient’s relationships and tendencies toward substance abuse and suicide attempts; role functioning, which includes work and family adjustment and the pursuit of social and leisure activities; and health status, which encompasses the patient’s use of medical resources and limitations on functioning. He stressed that all three domains must be addressed when evaluating the impact of treatment on quality of life in panic disorder.