Psykologisk Institut

Mia Skytte OToole

A systematic review of neuropsychological performance in social anxiety disorder

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisReviewForskningpeer review

  • Psykologisk Institut
  • Regionshospital Hammel Neurocenter
Background: Over the past few years, there has been an increasing interest in the neuropsychological performance of patients with anxiety disorders, yet the literature does not provide a systematic review of the results concerning adult patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Aims: The primary aim of this paper is to review the literature on neuropsychological performance in adult patients with SAD. Methods: This paper is a systematic review of empirical studies investigating neuropsychological performance as assessed by cognitive tests. Results: 30 papers were located comprising a total number of 698 adult patients with SAD. The review revealed indication for decreased performance regarding visual scanning and visuoconstructional ability as well as some indication for verbal memory difficulties. Conclusion: The impact of possible confounding variables on the neuropsychological performance is discussed. It is suggested that the decreased performance should be attributed to an increased level of situational anxiety, and an engagement in disorder-related, cognitively costly activities rather than trait-like cognitive dysfunctions. Future experimental studies are needed to explore the causal relationship between these constructs. Knowledge from such studies is important in order to improve the understanding of why SAD is such a disabling disorder, both educationally and interpersonally, and could assist in the planning and evaluation of psychotherapeutic treatment.

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TidsskriftNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Sider (fra-til)147-161
StatusUdgivet - 2011

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