Efficacy of telephone-administered behavioral therapy for panic disorder with agoraphobia
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The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a structured exposure-based behavior therapy program delivered by telephone to agoraphobic individuals who were isolated from specialized treatment centres. Forty-two individuals with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of panic disorder with agoraphobia who were living in rural areas of Ontario were assigned to either an eight-session telephone behavior therapy program or wait-list control condition. There were significant treatment x time interaction effects on several outcome variables. Patients originally in the wait-list group then received the same type of therapy and they also significantly improved. All treatment gains were maintained at three-month and six-month follow-up. Telephone behavior therapy appears to be a cost-effective and efficacious treatment for agoraphobics living in remote regions where specialized anxiety disorder services are not readily available.
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