Psychological treatment of comorbid asthma and panic disorder: a pilot study

J Anxiety Disord. 2008 May;22(4):671-83. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2007.07.001. Epub 2007 Jul 7.


We evaluated two protocols for treating adults with comorbid asthma and panic disorder. The protocols included elements of Barlow's panic control therapy and elements of Barlow's "panic control therapy" and several asthma education programs, as well as modules designed to teach participants how to differentiate asthma and panic symptoms, and how to apply specific home management strategies for each. Fifty percent of subjects dropped out of a 14-session protocol by the eighth session; however, 83% of patients were retained in an eight-session protocol. Clinical results were mostly equivalent: significant decreases of >50% in panic symptoms, clinically significant decreases in asthma symptoms, improvement in asthma quality of life, and maintenance of clinical stability in asthma. Albuterol use decreased significantly in the 14-session protocol and at a borderline level I the 8-session protocol, while pulmonary function was maintained. A controlled evaluation of this procedure is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Assertiveness
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / psychology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Culture
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Panic Disorder / psychology
  • Panic Disorder / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology