Abstract-The effects of self-directed in vivo,l in vivo exposure in the treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia were examined. Seventy-four chronic and severe agoraphobic subjects were randomly assigned to Cognitive Therapy plus graded exposure. Relaxation Training plus graded exposure, or therapist-assisted graded exposure alone. Treatment consisted of 16 weekly 2.5-hour sessions. All subjects received programmed practice instructions for engaging in self-directed exposure as a concomitant strategy to their primary treatment. All subjects were instructed to keep systematic behavioral diary recordings of all self-directed exposure practice. The diary data were analyzed across and within treatments and assessment phases. Statistically significant findings were obtained across all diary measure domains with powerful repeated measures effects observed across all treatments. Significant between group effects and treatment X repeated measures interactions were obtained across the diary measure domains. Multiple linear regressions of in vivo anxiety levels and, to a lesser extent, frequency of self-directed exposure practice were found to be significantly associated with global assessment of severity at posttreatment and 3-month follow-up assessments. Furthermore, depression and marital satisfaction were significantly associated with in vivo anxiety. These and other findings are discussed with regard to their conceptual and clinical implications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health