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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2008 Aug;76(4):704-10. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.76.4.710.

Treating comorbid panic disorder in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


This study compares the effectiveness of panic control treatment (PCT) with that of a psychoeducational supportive treatment (PE-SUP) in treating panic disorder among a veteran sample with a primary diagnosis of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thirty-five patients randomized to receive 10 individual sessions of either PCT or PE-SUP underwent assessments at pretreatment, at 1-week posttreatment, and at a 3-month follow-up. Intent-to-treat analyses of covariance showed that PCT participants significantly improved on panic severity at posttreatment and panic fear at the 3-month follow-up. The PCT group also showed significant reductions in anxiety sensitivity at posttreatment and follow-up compared with that of the PE-SUP group. A significantly higher proportion of persons (63%) in the PCT group was panic free by the follow-up period compared with that of the PE-SUP group (19%). Patient self-report and clinician ratings showed no changes in general anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms in either group. These findings indicated that PCT was superior to an active control therapy in reducing the frequency, severity, and distress associated with panic disorder and suggested that brief cognitive-behavioral therapy for panic is effective for persons with chronic PTSD.

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