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Lancet. 1988 Jul 30;2(8605):235-40.

The Nottingham study of neurotic disorder: comparison of drug and psychological treatments.

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  • 1Mapperley Hospital, Nottingham.


210 psychiatric outpatients with generalised anxiety disorder (71), or panic disorder (74), or dysthymic disorder (65) diagnosed by an interview schedule for DSM-III were allocated by constrained randomisation to one of five treatments: diazepam (28), dothiepin (28), placebo (28), cognitive and behaviour therapy (84), and a self-help treatment programme (42). All treatments were given for 6 weeks and then withdrawn by 10 weeks. Ratings of psychopathology were made by psychiatric assessors blind to both treatment and diagnosis before treatment and at 2, 4, 6, and 10 weeks after randomisation. 18 patients had insufficient data for analysis because of early drop-out. There were no important differences in treatment response between the diagnostic groups, but diazepam was less effective than dothiepin, cognitive and behaviour therapy, or self-help, these three treatments being of similar efficacy. Significantly more patients in the placebo group took additional psychotropic drugs in the 10 week period, and those allocated to dothiepin and cognitive and behaviour therapy took the least.

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