Publications by authors named "Pamela S Wiegartz"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Women and non-cardiac chest pain: gender differences in symptom presentation.

Arch Womens Ment Health 2008 Sep 1;11(4):287-93. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Department of Psychiatry MC 913, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.

A substantial number of individuals evaluated for complaints of chest pain do not suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD). Studies show that many patients who complain of symptoms that might be caused by CHD, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, may actually have an anxiety disorder. Gender differences in how patients present with these symptoms have not been adequately explored. The purpose of this study was to explore possible gender differences in the presentation of patients with CHD-like symptoms. Two groups were examined, one comprising 6,381 individuals self-referred for electron beam tomography (EBT) studies and a subset of these individuals who defined a "low-risk" group based on the absence of risk factors for CHD and low coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores. We explored gender differences in symptom presentation in each group after controlling for relevant variables by using logistic regression models. These analyses showed that women were significantly more likely than men to endorse CHD symptoms that might also be caused by an anxiety disorder. Women in the low risk group reported CHD symptoms also referable to anxiety more often than men, but unlike men did not complain primarily of chest pain. Women were also more likely to have been prescribed antianxiety or antidepressant medication. In previous studies, non-cardiac chest pain has been considered a hallmark of anxiety in individuals seen in medical settings. This study suggests that in individuals with low risk for CHD chest pain was not related to gender, but other anxiety-related symptoms including heart flutter, lightheadedness, nausea, and shortness of breath were more likely to be reported in women than in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00737-008-0021-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2574964PMC
September 2008

Implicit learning, thought-focused attention and obsessive-compulsive disorder: a replication and extension.

Behav Res Ther 2008 Jan 7;46(1):48-61. Epub 2007 Oct 7.

Department of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.

Although significant empirical support exists for both cognitive and neurobiological models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), there have been few efforts to integrate findings. In this investigation, we attempted to link models by examining relationships between performance on information processing tasks posited to be markers of OCD-related neuropathology and a self-report measure of excessive thought-focused attention (cognitive self-consciousness; CSC). Congruent with predictions and prior research, OCD patients' performance was impaired in comparison to an anxious control group on the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) Task, a measure of implicit procedural learning. Following completion of the SRT, participants' awareness of the embedded stimulus pattern was assessed. As predicted, participants with OCD demonstrated superior performance on this task. Scoring on a measure of CSC correlated with performance on both tasks, although the amount of variance accounted for was modest. Evaluation of OCD symptom subgroups revealed greater procedural learning impairment in a hoarding subgroup. Implications for theory and treatment are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2007.10.004DOI Listing
January 2008

Obsessive-compulsive disorder subtypes: an attempted replication and extension of a symptom-based taxonomy.

Behav Res Ther 2004 Jun;42(6):647-70

Department of Psychology, Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.

A symptom-based subgroup taxonomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was evaluated and refined. The Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale symptom checklist was scored and cluster analysis was conducted with a sample of OCD patients (N = 114). Results were compared to Calamari et al.'s (Behaviour Research and Therapy 37 (1999) 113) five subgroup model. Rules for determining the number of subgroups supported a more complex model. In between sample comparisons, a stable contamination subgroup was found in both a five and seven subgroup taxonomy. Between sample stability was not as strong for Harming, Obsessionals, Symmetry, and Certainty subgroups. Hoarding, as a distinctive subgroup, was unstable in separate samples. When the Calamari et al. sample and the present sample were combined (N = 220), we found a reliable Hoarding subgroup. More interpretable and stable models emerged with the combined samples suggesting that large clinical samples are needed to identify OCD subgroups. Greater support was found for a seven subgroup taxonomy based subgroup interpretability and validation measure differences. The potential utility of symptom-based subgroup models of OCD and alternative approaches are discussed. Identification of reliable and valid OCD subtypes may advance theory and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7967(03)00173-6DOI Listing
June 2004

Cardiac anxiety in patients self-referred for electron beam tomography.

J Behav Med 2003 Feb;26(1):67-80

University of Illinois at Chicago, 912 S. Wood Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.

Studies have repeatedly shown that as many as 43% of patients undergoing coronary angiograms have no evidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). Fear of cardiac-related sensations has been posited as one explanation for complaints of chest pain in patients without CHD. The purpose of this study is to examine variables associated with cardiac anxiety in a sample of individuals self-referred for noninvasive coronary calcium screening. Nearly one quarter of the subjects screened experienced chest pain in the absence of coronary artery calcium (CAC). Individuals without evidence of CAC were more likely to report higher levels of heart-focused attention, even when subjects with any risk factors for CHD were excluded from the analyses. Men were more likely to have evidence of coronary calcium, although a greater proportion of women reported chest pain. Women generally endorsed higher levels of cardioprotective behavior, heart-focused attention, and fear of heart-related sensations. Findings are discussed in relation to treatment of cardiac anxiety and the prevention of unnecessary medical procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/a:1021747106450DOI Listing
February 2003

Treatment of late-onset OCD following basal ganglia infarct.

Depress Anxiety 2002 ;15(2):87-90

Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.

Current consensus on the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) includes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in the form of exposure and response prevention (ERP). However, the generalizability of these methods to elderly populations remains largely undocumented. This clinical case study examines the effectiveness of medications and intensive, inpatient ERP in an elderly patient with onset of OCD following basal ganglia infarcts. There was a dramatic reduction from baseline to follow-up in both obsessions and compulsions with Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale [YBOCS; Goodman et al., 1989] total scores decreasing by over 20 points. These gains were maintained up to 1 year post-treatment. Age-specific issues and the application of standard therapeutic methods to elderly clients are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/da.10024DOI Listing
May 2002