Gender Differences in the Symptomatic Characteristics of Social Phobia Patients in One University Hospital

일 대학병원 외래 내원 사회공포증 환자에서 증상적 특성의 남녀차이

  • Choi, Hong-Min (Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Na-Hyun (Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine) ;
  • Lim, Se-Won (Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine) ;
  • Oh, Kang-Seob (Department of Psychiatry, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine)
  • 최홍민 (성균관대학교 의과대학 강북삼성병원 정신과학교실) ;
  • 김나현 (성균관대학교 의과대학 강북삼성병원 정신과학교실) ;
  • 임세원 (성균관대학교 의과대학 강북삼성병원 정신과학교실) ;
  • 오강섭 (성균관대학교 의과대학 강북삼성병원 정신과학교실)
  • Received : 2008.02.28
  • Accepted : 2008.04.03
  • Published : 2008.04.30

Abstract

Objectives : Gender differences in demographic characteristics, symptom presentation, and severity may influence the selection of target behaviors as well as the course and outcome of therapeutic interventions for patients with social phobia. The purpose of this study was to explore the gender differences in the symptomatic characteristics of Korean patients with social phobia. Methods : A total of 256 outpatients with social phobia at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital were included in this study. All subjects were evaluated using the Korean version of the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview Plus. Potential differences in demographic characteristics, severity of anxiety, and situational fear and avoidance were examined. Self-report questionnaires and interviewer-administered instruments, including the Social Phobia Scale (SPS), Social Phobia subscale of the Fear Questionnaire (FQ-social), Appraisal of Social Concerns (ASC), and Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), were used to evaluate the severity of the patients' symptoms. Results : There were no gender differences in demographic characteristics, age, age at onset of social phobia, total SPS score, FQ-Social score, ASC score, and LSAS score. In addition, there was no gender difference in the severity of fear in specific social situations. However, women reported significantly higher total scores on the social helplessness category of the ASC than men (p=0.009). Conclusion : Previous studies reported that the severity of social phobia symptoms is greater in women than in men, but our results suggest that there are no significant gender differences in the severity of social phobia symptoms. Thus, gender differences among patients with social phobia are discussed in the context of traditional sex-role expectations.