Temperament characteristics in patients with panic disorder and their first-degree relatives

Compr Psychiatry. 2015 Jul:60:73-7. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2015.03.008. Epub 2015 Apr 2.


Aim: Panic disorder is one of the highly heritable anxiety disorders; and temperament characteristics are considered predicting liability to panic disorder. Accumulating evidence suggests temperament characteristics are intermediate phenotypes for clinical conditions. Given this background, we aimed to investigate temperament characteristics in patients with panic disorder, their first-degree relatives, and healthy controls.

Method: Study sample consisted of 60 patients with panic disorder, 37 first-degree relatives of these patients, and 37 age, gender, and education level matched healthy controls (HC). SCID-I, the Panic Agoraphobia Scale, and the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory were applied to assess clinical characteristics of the patient group. Temperament characteristics were assessed using the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris, San Diego Autoquestionnaire (TEMPS-A).

Results: Anxious, depressive, cyclothymic, and irritable temperament scores of patients were higher than those of HC. There was no difference between the patients and the relatives, with the exception of higher anxious temperament scores in patients.

Conclusion: Overall, our findings suggest that anxious temperament characteristic might be a trait marker for liability to panic disorder. Further research with a prospective design in a larger sample is required to confirm our findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety* / complications
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / psychology*
  • Self Report
  • Temperament*