Improving the Treatment of Panic Disorder From a better Understanding of Fear Circuit Mechanisms to more effective Psychological Treatment and Routine Care
Project management at the University of Würzburg:
The efficacy of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) in the treatment of panic disorder and agoraphobia has been shown in a variety of controlled studies. Exposure constitutes an important element of the treatment. The study described here is part of a research project conducted at seven psychotherapeutic university departments with outpatients that are diagnosed panic disorder with agoraphobia. The aim of the project is to gain more detailed information about core active ingredients of CBT, especially concerning exposure elements. Two experimental groups and one waiting control group are compared. The therapy sessions are held by accredited therapists according to a treatment manual in an individual setting. With the standardized time structure of two sessions per week an intensive outpatient treatment is provided. The process is controlled and documented including diagnostic procedures at five assessment points. A better understanding of basic mechanisms of fear reduction and the implementations of the form of exposure will contribute to improve the treatment of panic disorder in the long term.
Projekt period: from 04.2007 to 04.2009