The treatment of social phobia in general practice. Is exposure therapy feasible?
ABSTRACT Exposure therapy is an effective treatment for generalized social phobia. Most patients with social phobia are treated in primary care, but family doctors are not usually trained to perform exposure therapy. We have conducted a study in primary care of the effect of exposure therapy alone or in combination with sertraline on generalized social phobia.
The purpose of this article is to describe the training of GPs and the application of the treatment programme in general practice.
Forty-five GPs were trained for approximately 30 h in assessing patients with social phobia and conducting exposure therapy. The training programme included scoring of videotaped interviews of five patients on several social phobia scales, and a videotape demonstrating different steps of an exposure therapy was used as a model for role play in group training.
All of the GPs completed the training programme. The doctors expressed satisfaction with the programme and also found it useful in the treatment of patients with conditions other than social phobia. There was a significant difference in response between the treatment groups (P = 0.001), and the combination of exposure therapy and sertraline seemed to be particularly beneficial.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to assess the 6-months treatment efficacy and 24-month follow up of three different therapeutic programs (A. moclobemide and supportive guidance, B. group cognitive-behavioral therapy and pill placebo, and C. combination of moclobemide and group cognitive-behavioral therapy) in patients with a generalized form of social phobia. Eighty one patients (38 males and 43 females) were randomly assigned to three different therapeutic programs. Patients were regularly assessed on a monthly basis by an independent rater on the LSAS (Liebowitz Social Anxiety scale), CGI (Clinical Global Impression) for severity and change and BAI (Beck Anxiety Inventory). Altogether, sixty-six patients completed the six month treatment period and 15 patients dropped out. All therapeutic groups showed significant improvement. A combination of CBT and pharmacotherapy yielded the most rapid effect. Moclobemide was superior for the reduction of the subjective general anxiety (BAI) during the first 3 months of treatment, but its influence on avoidant behavior (LSAS avoidance subscale) was less pronounced. Conversely, CBT was the best choice for reduction of avoidant behavior while a reduction of subjective general anxiety appeared later than in moclobemide. After 6 months of treatment there were best results reached in groups treated with CBT and there was no advantage of the combined treatment. The relapse rate during the 24-month follow up was significantly lower in the group treated with CBT in comparison with the group A. formerly treated with moclobemide alone.Neuro endocrinology letters 09/2006; 27(4):473-81. · 0.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: What are the current recommendations for the long-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)? GAD is a common disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 4% to 7% in the general population. GAD is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable worry or anxiety about a number of events or activities that the individual experiences on more days than not over a 6-month period. Onset of GAD symptoms usually occurs during an individual's early twenties; however, high rates of GAD have also been seen in children and adolescents. The clinical course of GAD is often chronic, with 40% of patients reporting illness lasting >5 years. GAD is associated with pronounced functional impairment, resulting in decreased vocational function and reduced quality of life. Patients with GAD tend to be high users of outpatient medical care, which contributes significantly to healthcare costs. Currently, benzodiazepines and buspirone are prescribed frequently to treat GAD. Although both show efficacy in acute treatment trials, few long-term studies have been performed. Benzodiazepines are not recommended for long-term treatment of GAD, due to associated development of tolerance, psychomotor impairment, cognitive and memory changes, physical dependence, and a withdrawal reaction on discontinuation. The antidepressant venlafaxine extended-release (XR) has received approval for the treatment of GAD in the United States and many other countries. Venlafaxine XR has demonstrated efficacy over placebo in two randomized treatment trials of 6 months' duration as well as in other acute trials. Paroxetine is the first of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to receive US approval for the treatment of GAD. Paroxetine demonstrated superiority to placebo in short-term trials, and investigations into the use of other SSRIs are ongoing. This suggests that other SSRIs, and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, are likely to be effective in the treatment of GAD. Of the psychological therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) shows the greatest benefit in treating GAD patients. Treatment gains after a 12-week course of CBT may be maintained for up to 1 year. Currently, no guidelines exist for the long-term treatment of GAD.CNS spectrums 09/2003; 8(8 Suppl 1):53-61. · 1.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: What are the symptoms of panic disorder and how is the disorder most effectively treated? One of the most commonly encountered anxiety disorders in the primary care setting, panic disorder is a chronic and debilitating illness. The core symptoms are recurrent panic attacks coupled with anticipatory anxiety and phobic avoidance, which together impair the patient's professional, social, and familial functioning. Patients with panic disorder have medically unexplained symptoms that lead to overutilization of healthcare services. Panic disorder is often comorbid with agoraphobia and major depression, and patients may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and, possibly, suicide. Research into the optimal treatment of this disorder has been undertaken in the past 2 decades, and numerous randomized, controlled trials have been published. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have emerged as the most favorable treatment, as they have a beneficial side-effect profile, are relatively safe (even if taken in overdose), and do not produce physical dependency. High-potency benzodiazepines, reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and tricyclic antidepressants have also shown antipanic efficacy. In addition, cognitive-behavioral therapy has demonstrated efficacy in the acute and long-term treatment of panic disorder. An integrated treatment approach that combines pharmacotherapy with cognitive-behavioral therapy may provide the best treatment. Long-term efficacy and ease of use are important considerations in treatment selection, as maintenance treatment is recommended for at least 12-24 months, and in some cases, indefinitely.CNS spectrums 09/2003; 8(8 Suppl 1):17-30. · 1.30 Impact Factor