Cognitive therapy versus fluoxetine in generalized social phobia: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Dec;71(6):1058-67. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.71.6.1058.


Sixty patients meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.: American Psychiatric Association, 1994) criteria for generalized social phobia were assigned to cognitive therapy (CT), fluoxetine plus self-exposure (FLU + SE), or placebo plus self-exposure (PLA + SE). At posttreatment (16 weeks), the medication blind was broken. CT and FLU + SE patients then entered a 3-month booster phase. Assessments were at pretreatment, midtreatment, posttreatment, end of booster phase, and 12-month follow-up. Significant improvements were observed on most measures in all 3 treatments. On measures of social phobia, CT was superior to FLU + SE and PLA + SE at midtreatment and at posttreatment. FLU + SE and PLA + SE did not differ. CT remained superior to FLU + SE at the end of the booster period and at 12-month follow-up. On general mood measures, there were few differences between the treatments

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Desensitization, Psychologic
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / adverse effects
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy*
  • Retreatment
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine