Multidimensional effects of sertraline in social anxiety disorder

Kathryn M. Connor, Jonathan R.T. Davidson, Henry Chung, Ruoyong Yang, Cathryn M. Clary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Clinical trials of social anxiety disorder (SAD) have largely focused on the effect of treatment on symptoms of fear and avoidance, while neglecting the third clinically relevant dimension, physiological arousal. Data were combined from two previously reported placebo-controlled trials of sertraline in the treatment of moderate-to-severe generalized SAD. Efficacy was evaluated using the Brief Social Phobia Scale (BSPS). Three hundred forty-six subjects were randomized to 12-13 weeks of treatment with sertraline and 273 subjects to placebo. Following treatment, significant improvement was noted in favor of sertraline on the full BSPS (P<.001), as well as on each of the individual BSPS subscales: fear (P=.001); avoidance (P<.0001); and physiological arousal (P<.0001). Of the physiological symptoms assessed, the treatment advantage with sertraline was maintained for blushing (P<.003) and palpitations (P<.03), but not for trembling and sweating. These results confirm the efficacy of treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sertraline, across the spectrum of fear, avoidance, and physiological arousal in generalized SAD (GSAD). Among common physiological symptoms in this population, blushing and palpitations appear more treatment responsive than trembling and sweating to acute treatment with sertraline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Blushing
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Phobic disorders
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Sertraline
  • Social anxiety disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Multidimensional effects of sertraline in social anxiety disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this