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Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2008 Oct;30 Suppl 2:s81-7.

[Cognitive-behavioral therapy in panic disorder].

[Article in Portuguese]

Author information

  • 1Programa de Transtornos de Ansiedade, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil. gmanfro@portoweb.com.br



Panic disorder is a chronic and recurrent condition that impairs an individual's psychosocial functioning and quality of life. Despite the efficacy of psychopharmacological treatment in reducing panic attacks, many patients fail to respond adequately to these interventions. Cognitive behavioral therapy provides an alternative and efficacious method for treating panic disorder and agoraphobic avoidance. The objective of the study is to describe the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for panic disorder.


Narrative review of data collected from Medline, SciELO and PsycInfo and specialized textbooks.


We describe the cognitive-behavioral model for the treatment of panic disorder, and review both short and long-term efficacy findings. We also discuss the role of combined treatment (cognitive behavioral therapy and psychopharmacology).


Cognitive behavioral therapy, either individual or in group, can be used as first-line therapy for panic disorder. This treatment modality can also be indicated as a next step for patients failing to respond to other treatments.

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