Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 70 Issue 2 (June 1997), Pages 113-207

Interpersonal problems among patients suffering from panic disorder with agoraphobia before and after treatment (pages 149-157)

The aim of this study was to examine interpersonal problems among panic disorder with agoraphobia patients before and after treatment. Patients (N = 46) suffering from panic disorder with moderate or severe agoraphobia and considering agoraphobia as their main problem were randomly assigned to receive either cognitive therapy or guided mastery therapy in a six‐week in‐patient group programme. The Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP) and various symptom measures were administered at pre‐treatment and at one‐year follow‐up. Two IIP subscales were derived from factor analysis of the present data: affiliation problems and power problems. The overall pattern of results supported a state model of interpersonal problems. At pre‐treatment, the scores on the affiliation problems subscale were clearly related to non‐specific state characteristics, that is, to depression and general anxiety. From pre‐treatment to follow‐up, levels of interpersonal problems decreased significantly. Pre‐treatment depression was a powerful predictor of change in interpersonal problems from pre‐treatment to one‐year follow‐up. On the other hand, interpersonal problems at pre‐treatment failed to predict the change in levels on various symptom scales.

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