Evidence-based assessment/Simple phobia (disorder portfolio)

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What is a "portfolio"?[edit | edit source]

  • For background information on what assessment portfolios are, click the link in the heading above.
  • Want more information? There's an extended version of this page here.

Preparation phase[edit | edit source]

Diagnostic criteria for phobic anxiety disorders[edit | edit source]

ICD-11 and DSM-5 Diagnostic Information

ICD-11 Diagnostic Criteria

Specific phobia is characterized by a marked and excessive fear or anxiety that consistently occurs when exposed to one or more specific objects or situations (e.g., proximity to certain animals, flying, heights, closed spaces, sight of blood or injury) and that is out of proportion to actual danger. The phobic objects or situations are avoided or else endured with intense fear or anxiety. Symptoms persist for at least several months and are sufficiently severe to result in significant distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Inclusions

  • Simple phobia
  • Acrophobia
  • Claustrophobia

Exclusions

  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Hypochondriasis

Changes in DSM-5

The diagnostic criteria for simple phobia changed slightly from DSM-IV to DSM-5. Summaries are available here and here.



Base rates of simple phobia in different populations and clinical settings[edit | edit source]

This section describes the demographic setting of the population(s) sampled, base rates of diagnosis, country/region sampled and the diagnostic method that was used. Using this information, clinicians will be able to anchor the rate of simple phobia that they are likely to see in their clinical practice.

  • To see prevalence rates across multiple disorders, click here.
Demography Setting Base Rate Diagnostic Method
California[1] Mexican-American Prevalence and Service Survey (MAPSS) – adults 18+, all specific phobias 7.4% CIDI/DSM-III-R
All of US[2] NCS replication, adults 18+, 12-month prevalence 8.7% CIDI/DSM-IV
All of US[3] National Comorbidity Survey (NCS); non-institutionalized adults between 18-54, all specific phobias 11.3% CIDI/DSM-III-R
All of US[4] National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), adults 18+, all specific phobias 9.4% AUDADIS-IV/DSM-IV
New Haven, CT[5] Adults 18+, all specific phobias 7.8% Clinical interview/DSM-III
Baltimore, MD[5] Adults 18+, all specific phobias 23.3% Clinical interview/DSM-III
St. Louis, MI[5] Adults 18+, all specific phobias 11.1% Clinical interview/DSM-III
All of US[6] National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), adults 18+, all Specific Phobias 7.14% AUDADIS-IV/DSM-IV
All of US Different age groups, all specific phobias Community Prevalence: 7-9%

Children: 5%

13- to 17- year olds: 16%

Older Adults: 3-5%

Note: Females are more frequently affected than males at a rate of 2:1

DSM-V
Varied[7] Outpatient clinic (DAU) 6% (specific) Varied
Varied[8] Outpatient clinic (SDI) 15% (specific) Varied
Varied[9] General Population 19% specific Varied

Prediction phase[edit | edit source]

Psychometric properties of screening instruments for simple phobia[edit | edit source]

The following section contains a list of screening and diagnostic instruments for simple phobia. The section includes administration information, psychometric data, and PDFs or links to the screenings.

  • Screenings are used as part of the prediction phase of assessment; for more information on interpretation of this data, or how screenings fit in to the assessment process, click here.
  • For a list of more broadly reaching screening instruments, click here.
Screening measures for simple phobia
Measure Format (Reporter) Age Range Administration/

Completion Time

Where to access
Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised (FSSC-R) Questionnaire (self-report) 7-16 years 19-20 minutes
Fear of Spiders Questionnaire (FSQ) Questionnaire (self-report) 13 years-adult 5 minutes
Disgust Scale Questionnaire (self-report) 16 years-adult 8 minutes Questionnaire homepage

DS-R PDF

Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) Questionnaire (Child) 6-18 12 minutes

PDFs for RCADS

Subscales

Translations

User Guide

Note: Reliability and validity are included in the extended version. This table includes measures with Good or Excellent ratings.

Likelihood ratios and AUCs of screening measures for simple phobia[edit | edit source]

  • For a list of the likelihood ratios for more broadly reaching screening instruments, click here.
Screening Measure (Primary Reference) AUC and Sample Size LR+ (Score) LR- (Score) Clinical generalizability
Specific Phobia of Vomiting Inventory (SPOVI)[10] 0.944 (N = 185) 24.3 (10+) 0.03 (<10) High: able to distinguish between phobics and controls
The Claustrophobia Scale (CS) - Anxiety Subscale (Rachman and Taylor, 1993) [11] --- (N = 285) 49.0 (24+) 0.0002 (<24) High: able to distinguish between phobics and controls
The Claustrophobia Scale (CS) - Avoidance Subscale (Rachman and Taylor, 1993)[11] --- (N = 285) 19.2 (9+) 0.0004 (<9) High: able to distinguish between phobics and controls

Search terms: [specific phobia] AND [sensitivity OR specificity] in Google Scholar and PsycINFO

Interpreting specific phobia screening measure scores[edit | edit source]

  • For information on interpreting screening measure scores, click here.

Prescription phase[edit | edit source]

Gold standard diagnostic interviews[edit | edit source]

For a list of broad reaching diagnostic interviews sortable by disorder with PDFs (if applicable), click here.

Recommended diagnostic instruments for simple phobia[edit | edit source]

Diagnostic instruments for simple phobia
Measure Format (Reporter) Age Range Administration/

Completion Time

Where to access
Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children (ADIS-C)[12] Child 6 years-adult 90 minutes
Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children (ADIS-P)[12] Parent 6 years-adult 90 minutes
Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children and Adolescents (DICA) Interview (clinician) 6-17 years 1-2 hours

Note: Reliability and validity are included in the extended version. This table includes measures with Good or Excellent ratings.

Process phase[edit | edit source]

The following section contains a list of process and outcome measures for simple phobia. The section includes benchmarks based on published norms for several outcome and severity measures, as well as information about commonly used process measures. Process and outcome measures are used as part of the process phase of assessment. For more information of differences between process and outcome measures, see the page on the process phase of assessment.

Process measures[edit | edit source]

Two types of behavioral approach tests (BAT) can be used to observe patients in typically avoided situations.

  1. A progressive BAT gradually exposes the patient to a fear-inducing situation in a step-by-step manner, and responses to each step are recorded.
  2. A selective BAT allows the clinician to select one or more challenges from the patient’s hierarchy, and the patient is to complete each challenge to induce a phobic response and rate the inducing fear.

Outcome and severity measures[edit | edit source]

This table includes clinically significant benchmarks for simple phobia specific outcome measures

  • Information on how to interpret this table can be found here.
  • Additionally, these vignettes might be helpful resources for understanding appropriate adaptation of outcome measures in practice.
  • For clinically significant change benchmarks for the CBCL, YSR, and TRF total, externalizing, internalizing, and attention benchmarks, see here.
Clinically significant change benchmarks (based on published norms)
Measure Subscale Cut-off scores Critical Change

(unstandardized scores)

A B C 95% 90% SEdifference
Dental Cognitions Questionnaire (1995 Norms)[13] 9.1 16.4 41.2 4.2 3.6 2.2
The Claustrophobia Questionnaire (2001 Norms) - Total[14] 18.6 67.7 41.2 11. 9.4 5.7
The Claustrophobia Questionnaire (2001 Norms) - Suffocation[14] 7.0 24.9 16.2 5.0 4.3 2.6
The Claustrophobia Questionnaire (2001 Norms) - Restriction[14] 8.4 45.5 24.3 6.9 5.8 3.5
Spider Phobia Questionnaire (1996 Norms)[15] 15.1 20.7 17.3 3.0 2.5 1.5
Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule (ADIS) 5.9 4.4 5.2 0.2 0.2 0.1
Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised (FSSC-R) 77.8 159 118.4 6.3 5.3 3.2

Note: “A” = Away from the clinical range, “B” = Back into the nonclinical range, “C” = Closer to the nonclinical than clinical mean. Search terms: [specific phobia] AND [adults] AND [clinical significance OR outcomes] in Google Scholar and PsycINFO

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Two treatments of specific phobia treatment include in-vivo exposure and virtual reality therapy. The former is most effective in specific phobias by hierarchically exposing the client to the fear-inducing stimulus and measuring anxiety response. The latter therapy is most effective in driving and height fears by using computer-generated, interactive virtual environments that the clinician manipulates.

External Resources[edit | edit source]

  1. ICD-10 diagnostic criteria
  2. Find-a-Therapist (a curated list of find-a-therapist websites where you can find a provider)
  3. NIMH entry about anxiety disorders
  4. Effective Child Therapy(guide about anxiety symptoms, treatment, and more)
  5. OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man) for simple phobia
    1. 608251
  6. eMedicine entry about phobic disorders
  7. Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
  8. EffectiveChildTherapy.Org information on fear, worry, and anxiety
  9. For information on conducting Exposure Therapy for anxiety disordered youth, see www.BravePracticeForKids.com

References[edit | edit source]

Click here for references
  1. Vega, WA; Kolody, B; Aguilar-Gaxiola, S; Alderete, E; Catalano, R; Caraveo-Anduaga, J (September 1998). "Lifetime prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders among urban and rural Mexican Americans in California.". Archives of general psychiatry 55 (9): 771-8. PMID 9736002. 
  2. Kessler, RC; Berglund, P; Demler, O; Jin, R; Merikangas, KR; Walters, EE (June 2005). "Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.". Archives of general psychiatry 62 (6): 593-602. PMID 15939837. 
  3. Kessler, RC; Chiu, WT; Demler, O; Merikangas, KR; Walters, EE (June 2005). "Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.". Archives of general psychiatry 62 (6): 617-27. PMID 15939839. 
  4. Stinson, FS; Dawson, DA; Patricia Chou, S; Smith, S; Goldstein, RB; June Ruan, W; Grant, BF (July 2007). "The epidemiology of DSM-IV specific phobia in the USA: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.". Psychological medicine 37 (7): 1047-59. PMID 17335637. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Robins, LN; Helzer, JE; Weissman, MM; Orvaschel, H; Gruenberg, E; Burke JD, Jr; Regier, DA (October 1984). "Lifetime prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders in three sites.". Archives of general psychiatry 41 (10): 949-58. PMID 6332590. 
  6. Grant, BF; Stinson, FS; Dawson, DA; Chou, SP; Dufour, MC; Compton, W; Pickering, RP; Kaplan, K (August 2004). "Prevalence and co-occurrence of substance use disorders and independent mood and anxiety disorders: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.". Archives of general psychiatry 61 (8): 807-16. PMID 15289279. 
  7. Rettew, David C.; Lynch, Alicia Doyle; Achenbach, Thomas M.; Dumenci, Levent; Ivanova, Masha Y. (2009-09). "Meta-analyses of agreement between diagnoses made from clinical evaluations and standardized diagnostic interviews". International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 18 (3): 169–184. doi:10.1002/mpr.289. ISSN 1049-8931. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mpr.289. 
  8. Rettew, David C.; Lynch, Alicia Doyle; Achenbach, Thomas M.; Dumenci, Levent; Ivanova, Masha Y. (2009-09). "Meta-analyses of agreement between diagnoses made from clinical evaluations and standardized diagnostic interviews". International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 18 (3): 169–184. doi:10.1002/mpr.289. ISSN 1049-8931. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mpr.289. 
  9. Kessler, R. C., Avenevoli, S., Costello, E. J., Georgiades, K., Green, J. G., Gruber, M. J., . . . Merikangas, K. R. (2012). Prevalence, persistence, and sociodemographic correlates of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(4), 372-380. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.160
  10. Veale, David; Ellison, Nell; Boschen, Mark J.; Costa, Ana; Whelan, Chantelle; Muccio, Francesca; Henry, Kareina (18 December 2012). "Development of an Inventory to Measure Specific Phobia of Vomiting (Emetophobia)". Cognitive Therapy and Research 37 (3): 595–604. doi:10.1007/s10608-012-9495-y. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ost, LG (May 2007). "The claustrophobia scale: a psychometric evaluation.". Behaviour research and therapy 45 (5): 1053-64. PMID 17303070. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Test-Retest Reliability of Anxiety Symptoms and Diagnoses With the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV: Child and Parent Versions". Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 40 (8): 937–944. 2001-08-01. doi:10.1097/00004583-200108000-00016. ISSN 0890-8567. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856709603427. 
  13. de Jongh, A; Muris, P; Schoenmakers, N; ter Horst, G (June 1995). "Negative cognitions of dental phobics: reliability and validity of the dental cognitions questionnaire.". Behaviour research and therapy 33 (5): 507-15. PMID 7598671. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Radomsky, AS; Rachman, S; Thordarson, DS; McIsaac, HK; Teachman, BA (2001). "The Claustrophobia Questionnaire.". Journal of anxiety disorders 15 (4): 287-97. PMID 11474815. 
  15. Mulkens, SA; de Jong, PJ; Merckelbach, H (August 1996). "Disgust and spider phobia.". Journal of abnormal psychology 105 (3): 464-8. PMID 8772018.