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January 1980

Treatment of Agoraphobia With Group Exposure In Vivo and Imipramine

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center, Glen Oaks, NY. Dr Klein is now with the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(1):63-72. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780140065007

• Seventy-six white agoraphobic women, 21 to 45 years old, were treated with combined group exposure in vivo and imipramine or placebo in a randomized double-blind study. A majority of the patients in both the placebo and imipramine groups showed moderate to marked improvement. However, imipramine therapy was significantly superior to placebo therapy on three of the four reported measures of improvement: primary phobia, spontaneous panic, and global improvement. There was a negative correlation between depression and outcome; ie, the more depressed patients fared worse on several outcome measures than those who were less depressed. A comparison of these patients with agoraphobic women previously treated with imipramine and imaginal desensitization showed a superiority of exposure in vivo midway in treatment, but no significant difference between the two groups at the completion of therapy.

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