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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Aug;68(4):556-63.

Empirically supported treatments for panic disorder: costs, benefits, and stepped care.

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Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.


Treatment outcome findings suggest that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy offer similar short-term treatment gains for panic disorder and that CBT may afford more optimal maintenance of treatment gains without the need for ongoing treatment. However, efficacy is not the only consideration for patients, and because of limited health care resources, evaluation of the cost-benefit ratio of these treatments is important. In this article, the authors review estimates of the relative efficacy, acceptability, tolerability, and costs of these treatments; empirically examine the costs and outcome of cognitive-behavioral and pharmacologic interventions as they are delivered in an outpatient clinic specializing in these treatments; and comment on how these data inform a stepped care model of treatment. Analysis of the "services" data indicated that CBT was at least equal to pharmacotherapy in terms of pretreatment severity and acute treatment outcome and that CBT is an especially cost-effective treatment option.

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