The Association Between Physical Sensations and Thinking Styles

  • End date
    Dec 11, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Ruhr University of Bochum
Updated on 11 May 2022
behavior therapy
cognitive therapy


The aim of the study is to examine panic-related associations and interpretations in the context of Panic Disorder and its treatment. While theoretical accounts of Panic Disorder suggest a central role of such associations and interpretations in the onset and maintenance of the disorder, research to date in fact leaves many questions about the nature of these dysfunctional cognitions and their potential role unanswered. Patients with Panic Disorder and a control group of patients with other anxiety disorders will complete measures of panic-relevant associations and interpretation bias. The patients with Panic Disorder will be randomized to receive either Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) or a waiting list condition (to be followed by CBT after completion of the study procedures). The anxious control group will also receive CBT. Panic-relevant associations and interpretations will be measured twice, i.e., pre and post CBT/waitlist. Furthermore, relevant symptom measures and physiological and biological markers will be assessed and responses to a hyperventilation challenge. The study aims to further advance our understanding of cognitions in the etiology and maintenance of Panic Disorder, and inform future treatment optimisation.


The main purpose of the present study is to look at relationships and changes over time but not to compare treatment outcomes (i.e. it is not an efficacy trial). The associations and interpretation measures are listed as primary outcomes because these are the measures of main interest.

Condition Panic Disorder
Treatment Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03233542
SponsorRuhr University of Bochum
Last Modified on11 May 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Aged 18 to 65
Primary DSM-5 Anxiety Disorder (Panic Disorder for Panic Disorder groups, other anxiety disorder for anxious control group)
Provided written informed consent
Patient is in principle able to take part in the therapy
Sufficient knowledge of German language
Outpatient (no parallel hospital stay)
Medical certificate: medical safety, so that hyperventilation is possible

Exclusion Criteria

Any reason that jeopardises the performance of the therapy
Acute suicidality
Primary affective disorder (e.g. Bipolar I, Major Depression)
Psychotic disorder
Parallel psychiatric or psychotherapeutic treatment (acute treatment)
Current substance dependence (apart from Nicotine dependence)
Serious medical disorders/ findings
Other primary treatment diagnosis
Intellectual impairment (estimated during screening)
ADHD (estimated during screening)
Personality disorders
Clear my responses

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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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