Cognitive behavior therapy vs exposure in vivo in the treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia (corrected from agrophobia)

Behav Res Ther. 2004 Oct;42(10):1105-27. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2003.07.004.


Seventy-three psychiatric outpatients with DSM-IV diagnosis of panic disorder with agoraphobia were assessed with a battery of independent assessor, self-observation, self-report and behavioral measures before and after therapy, and at a 1-yr follow-up. They were randomly assigned to Exposure in vivo (E; n = 25), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT; n = 26), or a Wait-list control (WLC; n = 22) and received 12-16 individual therapy sessions, once weekly. The treatments yielded significant improvements, both on panic/agoraphobia measures and on measures of general anxiety, depression, social adjustment and quality of life, which were maintained at follow-up. However, there were no significant differences between E and CBT. The three criteria of clinically significant improvement were achieved by 67% of the E-patients and 79% of the CBT-patients at post-treatment, and 74% and 76%, respectively, at follow-up. The conclusion that can be drawn is that adding cognitive therapy to exposure did not yield significantly better results than for exposure alone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agoraphobia / psychology
  • Agoraphobia / therapy*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / psychology
  • Panic Disorder / therapy*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychological Tests
  • Self-Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waiting Lists