The present study examined 1) the accuracy of two self-report measures for detecting panic-related anxiety in emergency department (ED) patients with cardiopulmonary complaints; and 2) whether modified scoring resulted in improved performance. English-speaking adults presenting to the ED of a large public hospital with palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, or difficulty breathing were evaluated for the presence of panic-related anxiety with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) over a one-year period. Patients completed the panic disorder modules of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-PD) and Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire (PDSQ-PD). Sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve (AUC), and predictive values were compared for various cut-offs and scoring algorithms using SCID diagnosis of panic attacks (in the absence of panic disorder) or panic disorder as the reference standard. In this sample of 200 participants, the majority had a chief complaint of chest pain and 46.5% met SCID criteria for panic-related anxiety. The PDSQ-PD demonstrated only fair operating characteristics for panic attacks (AUC = 0.57) and good operating characteristics for panic disorder (AUC = 0.79). The PHQ-PD achieved adequate operating characteristics (AUC = 0.66) for panic attacks and good operating characteristics for panic disorder (AUC = 0.76) using a modified scoring algorithm or a single screening question (AUC = 0.72).
- Emergency service
- Panic disorder