The use of a self-help treatment intervention for panic disorder with agoraphobia
Gould, Robert Andrew
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A recent study suggested that bibliotherapy may be an effective intervention for panic disordered individuals with agoraphobia. The present study attempted to enhance this bibliotherapy intervention by adding audio- and videotape self-help supplements. Thirty subjects suffering panic disorder with mild to moderate agoraphobia were matched on level of avoidance and then randomly assigned to 1) a Wait-list control condition (WL). or 2) a Self-help condition (SH). The intervention lasted four weeks followed by an eight week post treatment phase. and follow-up measures at the end of this phase. Results indicated that, from pre-treatment to follow-up, SH subjects improved significantly on 11 of the 12 dependent measures used in this study. while WL subjects did not. Furthermore. SH subjects were significantly more improved than WL subjects at follow-up with regard to agoraphobic avoidance, coping with panic attacks, self efficacy for mild, moderate and severe attacks, and for two critical measures of distress: frequency of panic attacks. and total severity of each attack. Clinical outcome measures also supported the effectiveness of the self-help approach. More than two-thirds of SH subjects met the criteria for clinical improvement. While only one-quarter of WL subjects met these criteria. Implications for the treatment of panic disordered individuals are discussed, as is the role of self-efficacy in mediating clinical change.
- Doctoral Dissertations