Panic disorder is the most common anxiety disorder affecting between 2 and 6% of the population. Drug treatment has proved effective for many users but there are problems with people's fear of taking drugs, non-compliance, side effects, high-drop out rates and relapses once people stop taking their medication. Cognitive behaviour therapy has shown promise in treating this condition but can be expensive. Group therapy is more cost effective as several patients can be seen at once but there has been little research into how effective group therapy is for this condition. A trial on 76 patients in Italy gave patients 14 weekly 2-hour group sessions of CBT. At the end of the treatment patients had improved significantly and these improvements were still there six months after the treatment had finished.
Galassi, Ferdinando ... [et al] - Cognitive-Behavioral Group Treatment for Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia Journal of Clinical Psychology April 2007, 63(4), 409-416