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Correlates of social anxiety in the medical setting

Leslie Gail Cohn, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Social anxiety spans a wide continuum from shyness on the less severe end to social phobia and avoidant personality disorder on the other. Social anxiety is widely prevalent and can have a debilitating effect on quality of life. Medical outpatients appear to have more social anxiety than non-patients, yet the problem is under-recognized and under-treated. Additionally, social anxiety may have wide-ranging and significant effects on the doctor patient relationship, resulting in less satisfaction, and ultimately, in reduced compliance and overall health for the socially anxious patient. Patients in a general medical outpatient clinic were assessed for social anxiety along with their perceptions of communication and satisfaction with their physicians. Individuals with greater levels of social anxiety were found to rate their health more poorly and reported both fewer positive feelings about the interaction as well as less satisfaction with their physicians. The implications of recognition of social anxiety and addressing it in the medical outpatient setting, weaknesses of the present study, as well as directions for future research are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Cohn, Leslie Gail, "Correlates of social anxiety in the medical setting" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022622.