Searching for self: The layers and labels of panic disorder – a New Zealand study

The diagnosis and management of panic symptoms are relatively neglected. If not treated, people can develop a panic disorder, a condition that has an adverse effect on the client's quality of life and psychological well-being.

The aim of this New Zealand research is to understand the clients' perspective of panic disorder and how it impacts on their quality of life.

Ten participants were interviewed and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

The research findings indicate that recovery from panic disorder occurs in a process of the search for self that is made up of self-understanding and the reclaiming the self.

The findings provide a psychosocial perspective of panic disorder that will assist nurses who work with these clients. Nurses are pivotal in teaching clients about their body's response to stress and health anxiety, the giving of supplementary health information, and timely referral for specialist treatment.

The recommendations for nurse specialist input and biopsychosocial assessments are discussed.

Source: Nursing and Health Sciences, June 2009; 11(1) pp 51-57. PMID: 19298309, by Hamer HP, McCallin AM, Garrett N. School of Nursing, University of Auckland; Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. [E-mail: h.hamer@auckland.ac.nz]

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