Panic Disorder in Primary Care
SourceDeutsches Aerzteblatt International, 116, 10, (2019), pp. 159-166
Article / Letter to editor
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Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
SubjectRadboudumc 16: Vascular damage RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: We evaluated a team-based program of exercises for patients with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (PDA) in primary care. METHODS: 419 patients with PDA (mean age 46.2 years, standard deviation 14.4 years; 74% female) were included in this cluster-randomized, controlled intervention trial. The patients were blinded with respect to their group assignment at baseline. Patients in the intervention group (36 primary-care practices, 230 patients) underwent a 23-week exercise program combined with case management, while patients in the control group (37 practices, 189 patients) received standard care. Symptoms of anxiety (according to the Beck Anxiety Inventory, BAI) at six months were the primary endpoint. Patients were followed up at six months (n = 338, 81%) and at twelve months (n = 318, 76%). The analysis was by intention to treat. RESULTS: Symptoms of anxiety improved to a significantly greater extent in the intervention group (p = 0.008). The intergroup dif- ference in the reduction of the BAI score (range: 0-63) was 3.0 points (95% confidence interval [-5.8; -0.2]) at six months and 4.0 points [-6.9; -1.2] at twelve months. In the intervention group, there was a significantly greater reduction in the frequency of panic attacks (p = 0.019), in avoidant behavior (p = 0.016), and in depressiveness (p<0.001), as well as a greater improvement of the quality of treatment (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: In primary-care patients who have panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, a team-based exercise program combined with case management can improve symptoms to a greater extent than standard primary-care treatment.
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