This study evaluated the specific effectiveness of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) combined with medication tapering for benzodiazepine discontinuation among generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients by using a nonspecific therapy control group. Sixty-one patients who had used benzodiazepines for more than 12 months were randomly assigned to the experimental conditions. Nearly 75% of patients in the CBT condition completely ceased benzodiazepine intake, as compared with 37% in the control condition. Results of the 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-ups confirmed the maintenance of complete cessation. Discontinuation rates remained twice as high in the CBT condition. The number of patients who no longer met GAD criteria was also greater in the CBT condition. The addition of specific CBT components thus seemed to facilitate benzodiazepine tapering among patients with GAD.
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