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J Affect Disord. 2015 Mar 15;174:19-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.11.029. Epub 2014 Nov 25.

Intensive behavioral therapy for agoraphobia.

Author information

1
Mondriaan Mental Health Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Research School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Electronic address: i.knuts@pn.unimaas.nl.
2
Research School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
3
Mondriaan Mental Health Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Research School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
4
Mondriaan Mental Health Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Research School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands; Center for Experimental and Learning Psychology, Leuven University, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We investigated the efficacy of an intensive 1-week behavioral therapy program focusing on agoraphobia for panic disorder patients with agoraphobia (PDA).

DESIGN AND METHODS:

The study design was a case-control study. Main outcome measure was the agoraphobia score of the Fear Questionnaire (FQ-AGO). The outcomes on the FQ-AGO of a 1-week intensive therapy (96 patients) and a twice-weekly therapy (98 patients) were compared.

RESULTS:

Agoraphobia improved significantly in both groups, 1 week and 3 months after therapy. Effect size for changes in the 1-week intensive therapy on the FQ-AGO was 0.75.

LIMITATIONS:

Limitations are use of antidepressants, no placebo group, and no long term follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

Behavioral therapy for agoraphobia can be shortened significantly if intensified without affecting therapy outcome, thus allowing patients a more rapid return to work and resumption of daily activities.

KEYWORDS:

Agoraphobia; Behavioral therapy; Expanding-spaced exposure; Intensive exposure therapy; Massed-exposure therapy; Panic disorder

PMID:
25479049
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2014.11.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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