Body vigilance and anxiety sensitivity in asthma patients

Kraemer, K. M., McLeish, A. C., & Johnson, A. L. (2014). Associations between mindfulness and panic symptoms among young adults with asthma. Psychology, Health & Medicine, (ahead-of-print), 1-10.

Abstract. Despite the well-documented associations between panic psychopathology and asthma, there has been a dearth of empirical work examining factors that may reduce the negative effects of panic for individuals with asthma. Thus, the goal of the present study was to examine the role of mindfulness skills (i.e. observe, describe, acting with awareness, nonjudgment, and nonreactivity) in symptoms of panic psychopathology (i.e. panic symptoms, anxiety sensitivity, and body vigilance).

Participants were young adults with asthma (n = 56; 30.4% male, Mage = 19.5 years, SD = 2.7) who completed online self-report measures for course credit. After controlling for the effects of asthma control and negative affectivity, greater use of the mindfulness skill of acting with awareness, relative to the other mindfulness skills, significantly predicted fewer panic symptoms and decreased anxiety sensitivity. The skill of observing approached statistical significance in terms of predicting increased body vigilance and anxiety sensitivity.

These finding suggest that targeting the skill of acting with awareness may be a novel way to decrease panic symptomatology among individuals with asthma.

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