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Authors: Sauer, Karoline S.
Witthöft, Michael
Title: Inhibitory learning versus habituation in an experimental exposure intervention for people with heightened health anxiety : increase of distress tolerance as a joint mechanism of change?
Online publication date: 9-Dec-2022
Year of first publication: 2022
Language: english
Abstract: The Inhibitory Learning Theory (ILT; Craske et al., 2008) changed the focus of exposure-based treatment from erasing excitatory associations and fear reduction (habituation (HA)) to reinforcing inhibitory associations and fear toleration (inhibitory learning (IL)). Studies which directly compare both approaches, IL versus HA, are scarce. The present study aimed at implementing and comparing an IL-based (n = 26; Age: M = 23.59, SD = 4.38) with a HA-based (n = 28; Age: M = 25.46, SD = 6.22) experimental exposure approach (including in vivo, interoceptive, and in sensu exposure) in a sample of people with heightened health anxiety. A significant pre- to post-intervention reduction of state health anxiety (p < .001), which was especially associated with an increase of distress tolerance (DT) pre- to post-exposure (F (1, 50) = 12.2, p < .001, ηp2 = .20), was observed. A superiority of the IL-based over the HA-based exposure intervention was not detected in relation to major outcomes (e.g., state health anxiety), as well as in relation to a change of DT. The present study underlines the importance of strengthening DT (for heightened health anxiety) during an exposure-based intervention.
DDC: 150 Psychologie
150 Psychology
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 02 Sozialwiss., Medien u. Sport
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY-NC
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Journal: Journal of experimental psychopathology
Pages or article number: 20438087221138716
Publisher: Sage Publishing
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2022
ISSN: 2043-8087
Publisher DOI: 10.1177/20438087221138716
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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