Intensive behavioral therapy for agoraphobia

Inge J. E. knuts*, Gabriel Esquivel, Thea Overbeek, Koen R. J. Schruers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: We investigated the efficacy of an intensive 1-week behavioral therapy program focusing on agoraphobia for panic disorder patients with agoraphobia (PDA). Design and methods: The study design was a case-control study. Main outcome measure was the agoraphobia score of the Fear Questionnaire (FQ-AGO). The outcomes on the FQ-AGO of a 1-week intensive therapy (96 patients) and a twice-weekly therapy (98 patients) were compared. Results: Agoraphobia improved significantly in both groups, 1 week and 3 months after therapy. Effect size for changes in the 1-week intensive therapy on the FQ-AGO was 0.75. Limitations: Limitations are use of antidepressants, no placebo group, and no long term follow-up. Conclusion: Behavioral therapy for agoraphobia can be shortened significantly if intensified without affecting therapy outcome, thus allowing patients a more rapid return to work and resumption of daily activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-22
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2015


  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Expanding-spaced exposure
  • Intensive exposure therapy
  • Massed-exposure therapy

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