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Guided threat focus and reappraisal was better than safety seeking behaviour for reducing fear in claustrophobia

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QUESTION: In people with claustrophobia, how effective are safety behaviour utilisation (SBU) and guided threat focus and reappraisal (GTR) for reducing fear during exposure?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment*), unblinded*, controlled trial with 2 weeks of follow up.


A large university in southwestern US.


46 college students who were 18–51 years of age (mean age 20 y, 93% women) and had claustrophobia (were unable to remain in a chamber for 2 min or reported a Subjective Units of Distress level ≥50 on 2 behavioural approach tests [BATs]). Follow up was 89%.


Participants were allocated to 1 of three 30 minute exposure conditions: GTR (n=13); SBU (n=17); and exposure alone (n=12). Exposure consisted of 2 BATs: a claustrophobia chamber (BAT 1) and a tall filing cabinet (BAT 2). All participants …

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