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I doubt it is safe: a meta-analysis of self-reported intolerance of uncertainty and threat extinction training

Morriss, J., Wake, S., Elizabeth, C. and Van Reekum, C. M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1516-1101 (2021) I doubt it is safe: a meta-analysis of self-reported intolerance of uncertainty and threat extinction training. Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science. ISSN 2667-1743

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.bpsgos.2021.05.011

Abstract/Summary

Background Intolerance of uncertainty (IU), the tendency to find uncertainty distressing, is an important transdiagnostic dimension in mental health disorders. Higher self-reported IU has been linked to poorer threat extinction training (i.e. the updating of threat to safe associations), a key process that is targeted in exposure-based therapies. However, it remains to be seen whether IU-related effects during threat extinction training are reliably and specifically driven by the IU construct or a particular subcomponent of the IU construct over other self-reported measures of anxiety. Methods A meta-analysis of studies from different laboratories (experiment n = 18; sample n = 1006) was conducted on associations between different variants of self-reported IU (i.e. 27-item, 12-item, inhibitory and prospective subscales), trait anxiety and threat extinction training via skin conductance response. The specificity of IU and threat extinction training was assessed against measures of trait anxiety. Results All of the self-reported variants of IU, but not trait anxiety, were associated with threat extinction training via skin conductance response (i.e. continued responding to the old threat cue). Specificity was observed for the majority of self-reported variants of IU over of trait anxiety. Conclusions The findings suggest that the IU construct broadly accounts for difficulties in threat extinction training and is specific over other measures of self-reported anxiety. These findings demonstrate the robustness and specificity of IU-related effects during threat extinction training and highlight potential opportunities for translational work to target uncertainty in therapies that rely on threat extinction principles such as exposure therapy.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:98969
Publisher:Elsevier

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