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A meta-analysis of the efficacy of psycho- and pharmacotherapy in panic disorder

27 Feb
In a meta-analysis, investigators at the University of Jena in Germany looked at the efficacy of cognitive behavioral (CBT) and pharmacological therapy for panic disorder. After a comprehensive review of the literature, the results of 124 studies were included.

CBT was found to be more effective than a no-treatment control and a placebo control. No difference of efficacy was found when using cognitive elements compared to not using them for anxiety; for associated depressive symptoms, additional cognitive elements seems superior.
Pharmacotherapy was more effective than a placebo control; there was no superiority of any drug class. Sample size was related to effect size in pharmacotherapy and publication bias was found. (C)BT was at least as effective as pharmacotherapy and depending on type of analysis even significantly more effective. There were no significant differences between (C)BT alone and a combination approach but characteristics of studies have to be considered.

Citation: Mitte K. A meta-analysis of the efficacy of psycho- and pharmacotherapy in panic disorder with and without agoraphobia. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2005 Sep; 88 (1): pages 27-45. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award