Attentional bias and anxiety in individuals with coronary heart disease
SourcePsychology & Health, 28, 11, (2013), pp. 1306-1322
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Psychology & Health
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
This study examined whether in an emotional Stroop task, individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD) would show greater attention towards the threatening words related to their disease than healthy persons, and if such an attentional bias is associated with anxiety. An emotional Stroop task with threatening words related to CHD as well as positive, negative and neutral words was administered to 35 individuals with CHD and 35 healthy controls. Additionally, the original Stroop task, the Beck anxiety inventory and the state-trait anxiety inventory were administered. The results indicated an attentional bias towards threatening words related to CHD in the individuals with CHD. They experienced higher interference than healthy participants from threatening words related to CHD but not from positive or negative words. Moreover, the level of interference was associated with their level of anxiety, and a vicious circle may exist in this association. In addition, results indicated a possible deficit of executive functioning among individuals with CHD. Attentional bias, as well as its association with anxiety, and an indication of deficit in executive functioning among individuals with CHD might be the risk factors for these individuals’ quality of life and for further development of their disease.
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