Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Self-Directed CBT Is Less Costly, as Effective as Group Therapy. (Patients with Panic Disorders)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Self-Directed CBT Is Less Costly, as Effective as Group Therapy. (Patients with Panic Disorders)

Article excerpt

RENO, NEV. -- Cognitive-behavioral therapy that is self-administered by the patient is as effective as group or individual therapy for panic disorders but is much less costly, according to a randomized study presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for panic disorder with agoraphobia, but there are several barriers to getting this therapy to the patients who need it. Few mental health professionals are trained in the technique, there can be long waiting lists for the training, and it is costly.

Andre Marchand, Ph.D., of the University of Quebec, Montreal, randomized 84 patients to receive individual therapy, group therapy, or self-directed therapy All patients were adults (aged 18-65 years) with a primary diagnosis of moderate to severe panic disorder with agoraphobia. On average, they had had the disorder for 14.6 years.

All three groups experienced 14 sessions over a period of 15 weeks. Treatment strategies included psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, exposure to interoceptive cues, exposure to feared situations, and instruction in breathing techniques. …

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