Transporting an Empirically Supported Treatment for Panic Disorder to a Service Clinic Setting: A Benchmarking Strategy

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Abstract

This work examines the transportability of cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) for panic disorder to a community mental health center (CMHC) setting by comparing CMHC treatment outcome data with the results obtained in two controlled efficacy trials. Participants were 110 clients with a primary diagnosis of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia; clients were not excluded on the basis of medication use or changes, severity or frequency of panic attacks, age, or the presence of agoraphobia. Clients completed a 15-session CBT protocol. Despite differences in settings, clients, and treatment providers, the treatment outcomes for clients completing treatment in the CMHC and the efficacy studies were comparable: Of the CMHC clients who completed treatment, 87% were panic-free at the end of treatment, and clients showed significant reductions in anticipatory anxiety, agoraphobic avoidance, generalized anxiety, and symptoms of depression. The present study suggests that panic control treatment can be transported to a CMHC. Challenges facing the transportability of research-based treatment to CMHC clients, settings, and treatment providers are discussed.

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