Treatment of Panic Disorder via the Internet: A Randomized trial of a Self-Help Program
Per Carlbring1, Bengt E Westling1, Peter Ljungstrand2, Lisa Ekselius3 & Gerhard Andersson1,4
1 Department of Psychology, Uppsala University,
2 Interactive Institute, University of Gothenburg, 3 Department
of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Uppsala University Hospital, 4 Department
of Audiology, Uppsala University Hospital.
This controlled study evaluated an Internet-delivered self-help program plus minimal therapist contact via email for people suffering from panic disorder. Out of the 500 individuals screened using the self-administered diagnostic instrument Composite International Diagnostic Interview in shortened form (World Health Organization, 1999) 41 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. These participants were randomized to either treatment via the Internet or to a waiting-list control. The main components of the treatment were psychoeducation, breathing retraining, cognitive restructuring, interoceptive exposure, in vivo exposure, and relapse prevention. From pre- to posttest self-help participants improved significantly more on almost all dimensions. The results from this experiment generally provide evidence for the continued use and development of self-help programs for panic disorder distributed via the Internet.