Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapy Techniques in Panic Disorder Patients with Residual Symptoms: 2-Year Follow-Up

Elizeth Heldt, Carolina Blaya, Letícia Kipper, Giovanni Salum, Gisele Gus Manfro


Objective: To evaluate the techniques learned by patients with panic disorder (PD) and residual symptoms after cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT) up to a 2-year follow-up. Methods: Sixty-four PD patients were treated with a 12-session CBGT and 62 (97%) were followed for 2 years after the end of the treatment. Outcomes were evaluated by Clinical Global Impression (CGI), Panic Inventory, and Hamilton Anxiety Scale. The tools used by patients were assessed through a semi-structured interview and classified as follows: (a) diaphragmatic breathing, (b) muscle relaxation; (c) cognitive technique; and (d) exposure. Results: Of the 62 patients assessed at the follow-up, 39 (63%) met the remission criteria (CGI ? 2 and no panic attacks) in the first year and 35 (57%) in the second year of follow-up. Despite meeting the remission criteria, 87% of patients kept using the tools learned in CBGT up to 2 years after the treatment. Diaphragmatic breathing was the most used technique in both periods. Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that CBGT is efficacious for patients with residual symptoms of PD. The techniques learned during the 12 therapy sessions are used by the patients up to 2 years after the treatment, suggesting long-term benefits of the skills learned at CBGT protocols.


Transtorno de pânico; terapia cognitivo-comportamental em grupo; respiração diafragmática; seguimento

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ISSN: 2357-9730



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The Clinical & Biomedical Research is licenced under Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.