Virtual reality exposure therapy versus cognitive behavior therapy for panic disorder with agoraphobia: a randomized comparison study.
- Public Health Research
Our objective was to compare the effects of Virtual reality exposure therapy (VrEt), cognitive behavior therapy (cBt), and a waitlist control condition in patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia (PdA). ninety-two outpatients were initially randomized in three arms – 29 treated with VrEt, 31 with cBt, and 32 assigned to the waitlist. At the end of a 12-week period, the patients assigned to the waitlist were re-randomized in VrEt or cBt groups. no between-group significant differences appeared at the end of the first phase, however, a lower responder rate was observed in the waitlist group. After the second randomization, response rates were not different in the VrEt and cBt groups (38.7% and 48.5%; p=0.46, respectively). during the nine-month follow-up period, the response rates remained stable without differences between groups. thus, VrEt seems to be an effective treatment for PdA with short-term and long-term therapeutic results equivalent to those obtained with cBt.