The Role of Anxiety Sensitivity and Expectancy Manipulation on Panic-Like Response to the 35% CO2 Challenge in Healthy Subjects

Fiammetta Cosci*, Giuly Bertoli, Giovanni Mansueto, Martina Asiaghi, Koen Schruers, Antonio E. Nardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: The 35% CO2 challenge is a well-established method triggering panic attacks under laboratory-controlled conditions. There is an ongoing debate whether single or the joined effects of the instructional set and anxiety sensitivity (AS) can alter the outcome of the challenge. Objectives: The present study investigated the effects of instruction manipulation and AS on panic-like response to the 35% CO2 challenge. Methods: Eighty healthy subjects, with high or low levels of AS, were randomized into 4 groups based on standard/manipulated instructional sets as well as 35% CO2 mixture/room air inhalation. Subjects filled in the Visual Analogue Scale of Anxiety (VAAS), the Visual Analogue Scale of Fear (VAS-F), the VAS of Discomfort (VAS-D), and the Panic Symptom List (PSL). Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at pre- and posttest. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed greater psychological responses at VAAS, VAS-F, VAS-D, and PSL and higher systolic blood pressure under 35% CO2 challenge if compared to room air inhalation while instructional set and AS did not influence the response. Conclusions: The present study confirms that neither instructional test nor AS alter the outcome of the 35% CO2 challenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychobiology
Volume78
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Panic
  • CO2 challenge
  • Instruction manipulation
  • CARBON-DIOXIDE
  • TRAIT ANXIETY
  • SOMATOSENSORY AMPLIFICATION
  • INSTRUCTIONAL SET
  • DISORDER
  • DIMENSIONS
  • ALEXITHYMIA
  • RELIABILITY
  • INHALATION
  • REACTIVITY

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