A comparison between acceptance-enhanced panic control treatment and panic control treatment for panic disorder
SourceDissertation Abstracts International, Section B: The Sciences and Engineering
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Panic Control Treatment has received wide spread research and clinical support for the treatment of panic disorder. Although PCT appears to be quite effective, it does not work for everyone, and relapse after treatment is common. PCT is cast within a framework directed toward assisting clients to become more adept at mastering and controlling anxiety and panic. More recently, alternative treatments set within the behavioral analytic framework have been proposed (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Unlike PCT, ACT focuses on acceptance and mastery of experiencing framework and conceptualizes psychopathology as resulting from patients'' avoidance and faulty control strategies over unwanted thoughts and emotional responses. To date, no studies have evaluated whether notions of acceptance combined with PCT results in better outcome relative to PCT alone for persons with panic disorder. The present paper presents an Acceptance-enhanced version of PCT for treating panic disorder and describes data from a modest clinical trial designed to evaluate the relative efficacy of the integrated Acceptance-enhanced PCT approach vs. PCT as-usual for persons (n = 22; 17 female; ages 18-65) suffering from panic disorder. Study hypotheses were partially supported, as clinical improvements were found for both treatment conditions but no differences between the effectiveness of the two conditions were evident at either the post-treatment or six month follow-up. Although preliminary, the present data suggest that the Acceptance-enhanced treatment for PD is as equally effective as PCT and that the two treatments might achieve their therapeutic effects via different mechanisms of action. Recommendations for integrating acceptance notions within standard cognitive-behavioral treatments generally, and within specific available treatments for the anxiety-disorders, are discussed.