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Review: psychotherapy plus antidepressant therapy increases response rate in people with panic disorder more than either treatment alone

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Q Does the combination of psychotherapy plus antidepressant therapy improve short and long term response rates compared with either therapy alone in people with panic disorder?


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Systematic review with meta-analysis.

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Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Controlled Trials Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, hand search of reference lists, and contact with experts in the field.

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Inclusions: randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in adults with panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, which compared any form of psychotherapy or antidepressant therapy alone versus a combination of both treatments. Exclusions: RCTs of antidepressants plus benzodiazepines (although irregular use of benzodiazepines or continued use of benzodiazepines at a stable dose in long term users was permitted). Results were divided by treatment phase: acute treatment (first 2–4 months), continuation treatment (3–9 months), and post-treatment (6–24 months after treatment completion). Review Manager 4.2 software was used …

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  • For correspondence: Toshi A Furukawa, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive-Behavioural Medicine, Nagoya City Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan; furukawa{at}

  • Sources of funding: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan.