Predictors of panic symptoms during magnetic resonance imaging scans

  • Lynne M. Harris
  • Ross G. Menzies
  • John Robinson


This study examined the usefulness of a score derived from nine items of Wolpe and Lang’s (1964) Fear Survey Schedule (FSS) in predicting the number of symptoms consistent with panic reported by a large outpatient sample undertaking magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The items were those identified by Lukins, Davan, and Drummond (1997) as likely to reflect fears associated with the aversive characteristics of the MRI procedure (i.e., noise, confinement, and isolation) and were taken 1 week before the scan. The MRI-related FSS score was a better predictorof symptoms consistent with panic attack during the scan than (a) Rachman and Taylor’s (1993) Claustrophobia Questionnaire, (b) a score derived from nine FSS items reflecting common community fears, or (c) a measure of state anxiety. It is suggested that the brief MRI-related FSS scale can provide information important for planning patient management during MRI scans at a time when the information can be most useful.

Key words

anxiety magnetic resonance imaging fear 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynne M. Harris
    • 1
  • Ross G. Menzies
    • 1
  • John Robinson
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Behavioural and Community Health ScienceThe University of SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of Medical Radiation ScienceUniversity of SydneyAustralia

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