Short communication| Volume 227, 102690, September 2020

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Psychological correlates of patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)


      • Patients with POTS exhibit significant challenges pertaining to psychological symptoms and quality of life.
      • Anxiety sensitivity may be the more prominent manifestation of anxiety in patients with POTS.
      • Autonomic symptoms are correlated with increased impairment in depression, pain catastrophizing and quality of life.
      • Findings support existing theories that psychological symptoms may be a response to physical symptoms.


      Psychological symptoms are frequently reported in patients with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS); however, the nature of these symptoms is not well understood. The current study described baseline psychological symptoms in patients with POTS, and examined associations between psychological and self-report autonomic symptoms. Participants reported mild anxiety symptoms, moderate depressive symptoms, severe somatization, and elevated anxiety sensitivity. Depressive symptoms and pain catastrophizing were significantly associated with autonomic symptoms. The current study adds to the literature by documenting elevated levels of anxiety sensitivity, and relationships between psychological and autonomic symptoms.


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