Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of panic disorder

Gabija Balandytė1, Skaidra Bieliūnaitė1, Margarita Slabadienė2

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania

2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry, Kaunas, Lithuania


Introduction. Panic disorder is a common mental disorder with a prevalence of ~ 2–5% in the general population. In the treatment of panic disorder cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to have the longest duration of action between different types of psychotherapy. most recommended is cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT).

Aim: to present the effectiveness of CBT in the treatment of panic disorder and to compare it with other types of psychotherapy.

Methodology. The literature review was based on the scientific databases of PubMed and the Cochrane Library, selecting publications from 2012 to 2022 in English using the keywords in the original language: “panic disorder,” “psychotherapy,” and “cognitive behavioral therapy.” More than 20 publications related to the treatment of panic disorder have been reviewed.

Results. CBT significantly reduces panic symptoms and related variables during therapy, and this effect persists for three months. Group CBT is an effective treatment for panic disorder and may be an alternative to individual CBT. The benefits of alternative types of CBT – short CBT or online CBT for the treatment of panic attacks – are also identified. According to research, CBT is the most effective form of psychotherapy for panic disorder.

Conclusions. CBT is an integral part of the treatment of panic disorder. This therapy can directly reduce the symptoms experienced during panic disorder. Also CBT is more effective compared to other types of psychotherapy. Moreover, easily accessible as it can be applied individually, in groups or even online.

Keywords: panic disorder, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy.

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