Effects of Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on Body Sensation Interpretation, Anxiety Control and Panic/Agoraphobic Symptoms in Patients with Panic Disorder

Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Yeon-Sook Choi, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea
Soo Yang, PhD , College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: understand that this study investigated the effects of group cognitive behavioral therapy(GCBT) on body sensation interpretation, anxiety control and panic/agoraphobic symptoms in panic disorder.

Learning Objective 2: understand that catastrophic misinterpretation for bodily sensation was decreased and the perceived anxiety control was increased, while Panic/agoraphobic severity was decreased afer GCBT.

The subjects were 82 patients diagnosed with panic disorder. Forty four were assigned to GCBT group for 12 weeks, one session per week and thirty eight were assigned to conventional therapy group including pharmacotherapy and supportive psychotherapy. During the 12 weeks' study period, catastrophic misinterpretation for bodily sensation, perceived anxiety control and panic/agoraphobic severity were measured at baseline, 6th week and 12th week.

The data were analyzed by 2-test, Fisher's exact test, t-test and Repeated Measures ANOVA.

The findings were as follows:

1. The ranking scores in catastrophic misinterpretation on both panic body sensation and external events were significantly decreased after GCBT. In the control group, only the panic body sensation showed significant variance. In addition, the belief scores in catastrophic misinterpretation for panic body sensation and external event were significantly reduced at 6th week and 12th week in the GCBT group. However, those of the control group had no changes.

2. A significant increase in the perceived anxiety control was observed in the GCBT group. However, there was no difference in the control group.

3. Panic/agoraphobic severity was significantly decreased at both 6th week and 12th week in the GCBT. However, that of the control group decreased only at 6th week.

In conclusion, this study indicates that GCBT has positive influences on body sensation interpretation, anxiety control and panic/agoraphobic symptoms in patients with panic disorder.