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Br J Psychiatry. 2003 Apr;182:312-8.

Exposure therapy and sertraline in social phobia: I-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial.

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  • 1Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Maintenance of treatment effect is important for the choice of treatment for social phobia.

AIMS:

To examine the effect of exposure therapy and sertraline 28 weeks after cessation of medical treatment.

METHOD:

In this study 375 patients with social phobia were randomised to treatment with sertraline or placebo for 24 weeks, with or without the addition of exposure therapy. Fifty-two weeks after inclusion, 328 patients were evaluated by the same psychometric tests as at baseline and the end of treatment (24 weeks).

RESULTS:

The exposure therapy group and the placebo group had a further improvement in scores on social phobia during follow-up: mean change in the Clinical Global Impression - Social Phobia overall severity score was 0.45 (95% CI 0.16-0.65, P < 0.01) for the exposure group, and 0.25 (95% CI 0.00-0.48, P < 0.05) for the placebo group. At week 52 the sertraline plus exposure group and the sertraline-alone group had a significant deterioration on the 36-item Short Form Health Survey compared with exposure alone.

CONCLUSIONS:

Exposure therapy alone yielded a further improvement during follow-up, whereas exposure therapy combined with sertraline and sertraline alone showed a tendency towards deterioration after the completion of treatment.

Comment in

PMID:
12668406
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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