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A randomized study of massed three-week cognitive behavioural therapy schedule for panic disorder

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Bohni MK, Spindler H, Arendt M, Hougaard E, Rosenberg NK. A randomized study of massed three-week cognitive behavioural therapy schedule for panic disorder. Objective: 

To compare the efficacy of massed vs. spaced group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for patients with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (PD). Method: 

Thirty-nine PD patients were randomly assigned to massed group CBT (daily 4-h sessions in week 1, two 2-h sessions in week 2 and one 2-h session in week 3) or traditional spaced weekly group CBT (13 consecutive, weekly 2-h sessions). The content and number of hours in the two treatment schedules were identical. Outcome was assessed after treatment, and at 3, 6 and 18 months of follow-up. Results: 

Both treatment groups achieved significant improvement on all measures with large pre- to post-treatment and pre-treatment to follow-up effect sizes. No between-group differences were registered. Adherence and patient satisfaction did not differ between groups. Conclusion: 

The massed, 3-week group CBT schedule proved to be effective and feasible for PD patients with outcomes comparable with that of standard, spaced group CBT.

Keywords: agoraphobia; cognitive behaviour therapy; group therapy; panic disorder

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Clinic for OCD, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark 2: Department of Psychology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark 3: Clinic for Anxiety Disorders, Aarhus University, Risskov, Denmark

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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