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About a third of young women are estimated to fully recover from social phobia within 18 months

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N Vriends

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What is the rate of recovery from social phobia and what are the prognostic factors predicting recovery?


91 women (mean age 22 years) with DSM-IV social phobia (meeting all 8 criteria at baseline) from a total sample of 1396 German women aged 18–24 years recruited in the Dresden Prediction Study, which collected information on the incidence, prevalence and course of psychiatric disorders in a randomly selected sample from the community.


Community setting, Dresden, Germany; enrolment 1996.

Prognostic factors:

Socio-demographic factors; psychosocial factors (including daily hassles and life satisfaction); comorbid psychiatric disorders; characteristics of social phobia (severity, age at onset, avoidance behaviour, impairment). Prognostic factors were assessed in face-to-face interviews using the Diagnostic Interview for Psychiatric Disorders (F-DIPS) and other measures such as the Symptoms Checklist 90-Revised, Anxiety Sensitivity Index, and Marburger Health Study Mental Health Questionnaire, administered by trained doctors or final year psychology students.


Partial recovery (meeting <8 criteria for DSM-IV social phobia), full recovery (no criteria met), or stable state social phobia (all 8 criteria met) assessed …

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  • Source of funding: German Ministry of Science, Research and Education.


  • Competing interests: None.