Anxiety symptoms and functional impairment: A systematic review of the correlation between the two measures.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review;Systematic Review)

Researchers and clinicians assume a strong, positive correlation between anxiety symptoms and functional impairment. That assumption may be well-justified since diagnostic criteria typically include functional impairment. Still, the relationship remains largely unavailable in any systematic review. Our aim with this paper was to provide empirical evidence for this assumed relationship and to document the observed correlations between anxiety symptom measures and functional impairment measures. Correlations existed for symptoms of six anxiety disorders (Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) across four functional domains (global, social, occupational, and physical). Overall, the mean of 497 correlations across all disorders and functional domains was modest (r=.34); since the variability between disorders and functional domains tended to be rather large, we explored these correlations further. We presented these results and the potential explanations for unexpected findings along with the clinical and research implications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McKnight, PE; Monfort, SS; Kashdan, TB; Blalock, DV; Calton, JM

Published Date

  • April 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 /

Start / End Page

  • 115 - 130

PubMed ID

  • 26953005

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7811

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cpr.2015.10.005


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States