Web-based therapist-assisted cognitive behavioral treatment of panic symptoms: a randomized controlled trial with a three-year follow-up

J Anxiety Disord. 2010 May;24(4):387-96. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.01.010. Epub 2010 Feb 17.


Background: Internet-delivered treatment may reduce barriers to care in those unwilling or unable to access traditional forms of treatment.

Objective: To assesses the efficacy of web-based therapist-assisted cognitive behavioral treatment (web-CBT) of panic symptoms.

Design: A randomized waiting-list controlled trial with an uncontrolled three-year follow-up.

Participants: A community sample of 58 participants with chronic panic symptoms of varying severity (immediate treatment: n=27, waiting-list control: n=31).

Outcome measures: The primary outcome measures were a one-week Panic Diary and the Panic Disorder Severity Scale - Self-Report (PDSS-SR); secondary measures were the Agoraphobic Cognitions Questionnaire (ACQ), the Body Sensations Questionnaire (BSQ), the Mobility Inventory - Alone subscale (MI-AAL), and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-42).

Results: In the RCT, 54 participants (93%) completed posttest measurements. With regard to the primary outcome measures, intention-to-treat ANCOVAs revealed that participants in the treatment condition improved more than the participants in the waiting-list control condition (p<.03), with a pooled between-group effect size of d=.7. After three years (n=47; 81% study compliance), effects were more pronounced.

Conclusion: The results demonstrate the efficacy of therapist-assisted web-CBT in the treatment of panic symptoms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / therapy*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Young Adult