Although stress and anxiety have long been assumed to play an exacerbatory role in asthma, no study has systematically documented that daily exacerbations of asthma symptoms are related to stress and/or anxiety. In this study, 24 airways obstruction patients (12 asthmatics and 12 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients) were instructed to monitor the severity of daily respiratory symptoms. In addition, subjects recorded their daily anxiety level and the number and perceived impact of daily stressors. The results showed that although there were differences between high- and low-stress days for both groups, there were no differences between groups on symptom severity or between high- and low-anxiety days, as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Thus, although the number and impact of daily stressors were found to be directly associated with the severity of asthma symptoms, anxiety does not appear to have a direct role in the exacerbation of asthma. The findings failed to support the anxiety theory of asthma but provided an explanation for the poor results obtained in previous treatment studies which employed anxiety management with asthmatics.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment|
|State||Published - Sep 1988|
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology