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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1994 Apr;62(2):350-8.

Social phobia: a comparison of behavior therapy and atenolol.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29407.


Seventy-two social phobics were randomly assigned to behavioral (flooding) or drug treatment with atenolol or placebo. Treatment was administered over a 3-month period of time, and duration of treatment effects was determined at a 6-month follow-up assessment. Multiple measures of outcome were used, including self-report, clinician ratings (including assessment by independent evaluators), behavioral assessment, and performance on composite indexes. The results indicated that flooding consistently was superior to placebo, whereas atenolol was not. Flooding also was superior to atenolol on behavioral measures and composite indexes. Those subjects who improved during treatment maintained gains at the 6-month follow-up regardless of whether they received flooding or atenolol. The variability of outcome on different measures in social phobia research is discussed, and the need for broad-based treatment strategies to address the pervasive deficits associated with social phobia is noted.

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