The Climate Panic program: an open trial of Internet-based treatment for panic disorder

Edward Wims, Nickolai Titov, Gavin Andrews

Abstract


The present paper reports the results of an open trial of an Internet based clinician-assisted computerized cognitive behavioural treatment (CaCCBT) program for panic disorder. Ten participants meeting DSM-IV criteria for Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia were recruited. Over 9 weeks participants completed 6 on-line lessons and homework assignments, received emails from a therapist, and participated in an online discussion forum with other participants. Paired sample t-tests and effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were calculated using an intention-to-treat design. Eighty percent of participants completed the 6 lessons. Significant reductions associated with medium to large pre to post-treatment effect sizes were obtained on questionnaires measuring anticipatory and catastrophic thoughts, physical sensations associated with anxiety, agoraphobic avoidance, and depression. Seventy percent of participants did not meet criteria for panic disorder with agoraphobia at post-treatment. Mean therapist time spent per patient during the program was 209 minutes. These results are consistent with previous literature indicating that Internet-based treatment programs for panic disorder combined with individual and forum based therapist guidance can result in clinically significant improvements in outcomes for patients.

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Keywords

Clinician assisted computerized cognitive behavioural therapy; panic disorder; treatment; Internet



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology