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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2002 May-Jun;24(3):148-55.

Treating panic disorder in primary care: a collaborative care intervention.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Efficacy research indicates the success of cognitive behavioral treatment and medication treatment for panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. However, research findings to date possess limited generalizability beyond specialty mental health settings. We present a model for collaborative care treatment for panic disorder in the primary care setting that combines cognitive behavioral therapy and medications, and involves a behavioral health specialist, psychiatrist, and primary care physician. Educational aids that are aimed to educate and activate patients to participate as partners in their care are provided. We outline the ways in which the standard treatment was modified, in light of the nature of the sample and setting, such as fewer sessions and management of comorbidity. Also, we provide evidence for acceptability of this intervention to primary care physicians and patients. This description is intended to lay the groundwork for continued research efforts in the extension of efficacious treatments into primary care settings.

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