In this study, 60 patients with panic disorder underwent standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy including psychoeducation and exposure exercises and were compared with 60 healthy controls.
Anxiety sensitivity (ASI) and general self-efficacy (GSE) were measured at several times, as well as agoraphobic cognitions (ACQ) and the number of panic attacks per week.
Compared to controls, patients with panic disorder had a lower self-efficacy and a higher anxiety sensitivity at baseline. After psychoeducation, anxiety sensitivity decreased, after exposure exercises general self-efficacy increased in patients. Agoraphobic cognitions were also reduced. There was no significant effect on the number of panic attacks.
Changes in general self-efficacy, measured with the GSE-scale, after cognitive-behavioral therapy in patients with panic disorder were described for the first time in this study. It was shown, that a standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy increases not only, as already known, panic-related self-efficacy, but also general self-efficacy.
Changes were further examined considering the response-status in anxiety sensitivity. After therapy, there was no difference in anxiety sensitivity, general self-efficacy and agoraphobic cognitions between patients who reached more than 50 % improvement in anxiety sensitivity (ASI-responders) and controls. ASI-responders already showed a significant improvement in GSE and ACQ after psychoeducation.
Future investigation should examine the differences between ASI-responders and ASI-non-responders, as well as further methods to reduce anxiety sensitivity and increase self-efficacy aiming at prevention and therapy of anxiety diseases.
|School:||Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-Universitaet Wuerzburg (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
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