Cognitive mediation of panic reduction during an early intervention for panic

P. Meulenbeek, P. Spinhoven, H.F.E. Smit, A.J.L.M. van Balkom, P. Cuijpers

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Objective:  This study investigated cognitive mediation of improvement in panic disorder (PD) symptomatology during and after an early intervention for panic symptoms in subthreshold and mild PD.

Method:  We executed a pragmatic, pre-post, two-group, multi-site, randomized trial of an early intervention for panic symptoms, based on cognitive-behavioural therapy, vs. a wait-list control group in a sample of 217 participants with subthreshold PD or mild PD.

Results:  First, two of the three subscales of the mediator variable Panic Appraisal Inventory (PAI-anticipation and PAI-coping) significantly mediated residual change in PD symptomatology on the PD Severity Scale-Self Report. Second, preintervention to postintervention PAI-anticipation and PAI-coping change scores significantly predicted postintervention to follow-up change in PD symptomatology after controlling for other change scores. However, the converse association was also significant.

Conclusion:  The results suggest that changes in cognitions may mediate changes in PD symptomatology and that the process of change is circular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
JournalActa psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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