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Couples treatment of agoraphobia

Authors
Journal
Behavior Therapy
0005-7894
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
15
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0005-7894(84)80040-4
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

The results of 14 agoraphobic women treated in small groups and accompanied by their husbands were compared to the results of 14 agoraphobic women treated in an identical fashion without the presence of their husbands. Treatment consisted of cognitive restructuring and self-initiated exposure exercises. Results at posttest indcated a substantial advantage to the spouse group, when compared to the nonspouse group, on measures of agoraphobia. Ratings of social, work, and family functioning also improved more quickly in the spouse group, although this comparative advantage had disappeared at posttest. The overall results of this graduated, self-initiated, exposure-based treatment seem superior to more intensive therapist- or drug-assisted in vivo exposure when one considers attrition rates. However, the failure to confirm the role of between-session practice as a predictor of successful outcome suggested that variables in addition to exposure may play a major role in treatment.

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