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BACKGROUND: Phobic fears are common in the general population and among individuals with major depression (MD). We know little about the prevalence, clinical correlates, and structure of phobic fears in Chinese women with MD. METHODS: We assessed 22 phobic fears in 6017 Han Chinese women with MD. We used exploratory factor analysis to examine the structure of these phobic fears. We examined the relationship between individual phobic fears and the severity of MD, neuroticism, comorbid panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and dysthymia using logistic regression models. RESULTS: The frequency of phobic fears ranged from 3.0% (eating in public) to 36.0% (snakes). Phobic fears were significantly associated with more severe MD, high neuroticism, and co-morbid panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and dysthymia. Our factor analysis suggested four underlying subgroups of phobic fears which differed in their clinical correlates, severity and patterns of comorbidity. LIMITATIONS: Data were collected retrospectively through interview and recall bias may have affected the results. CONCLUSIONS: Phobic fears are correlated with comorbid MD and more severe MD. These phobic fears clearly subdivide into four subgroups that differ meaningfully from each other.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jad.2014.01.007

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Affect Disord

Publication Date

03/2014

Volume

157

Pages

92 - 99

Keywords

Comorbidity, Factor analysis, Major depression, Phobic fear, Prevalence, Adult, Anxiety Disorders, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, China, Comorbidity, Depressive Disorder, Major, Dysthymic Disorder, Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Middle Aged, Panic Disorder, Phobic Disorders, Prevalence, Recurrence, Retrospective Studies