Tapering off long-term benzodiazepine use with or without group cognitive-behavioural therapy: three-condition, randomised controlled trial.
SourceBritish Journal of Psychiatry, 182, (2003), pp. 498-504
Article / Letter to editor
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British Journal of Psychiatry
SubjectEBP 1: Determinants in Health and Disease; EBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences
BACKGROUND: Benzodiazepine withdrawal programmes have never been experimentally compared with a nonintervention control condition. AIMS: To evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of tapering off long-term benzodiazepine use in general practice, and to evaluate the value of additional group cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). METHOD: A 3-month randomised, 3-month controlled trial was conducted in which 180 people attempting to discontinue long-term benzodiazepine use were assigned to tapering off plus group CBT, tapering off alone or usual care. RESULTS: Tapering off led to a significantly higher proportion of successful discontinuations than usual care (62% nu. 21%). Adding group CBT did not increase the success rate (58% v. 62%).Neither successful discontinuation nor intervention type affected psychological functioning. Both tapering strategies showed good feasibilityin general practice. CONCLUSIONS: Tapering off is a feasible and effective way of discontinuing long-term benzodiazepine use in general practice.The addition of group CBT is of limited value.
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