Patients experiencing a panic disorder may benefit more from treatment combining cognitive behavioral therapy with medication instead of the care usually offered by physicians.
Panic disorder is one of the most disabling and costly anxiety disorders. In the study, 232 patients meeting the criteria for panic disorder were randomly assigned to receive treatment as usual or a treatment combining medication and up to six sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy with up to six follow-up telephone contacts. Patients in the usual treatment group received medication and counseling from a physician on the recognition and treatment of panic disorder only.
It was established that patients in the combined cognitive-behavioral and medication group showed greater mental health improvements than the routine treatment group.