Studies have shown that there are now several effective treatments for panic disorder. However, not everyone with the condition gets them. This can be due to a shortage of skilled therapists and/or long waiting lists. People in rural areas can have difficulty reaching services and those with agoraphobia may be reluctant to leave the house to seek help. A Swedish trial divided 60 people with panic disorder into two groups. One group received cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) delivered via telephone or e-mail while the other group was put on a waiting list. After 10 weeks those in the CBT group had improved significantly on all the measurements, an improvement maintained at a 9-month follow-up. By the end of the trial 77% of the treated group no longer showed symptoms of panic disorder while all those in the control group still suffered from it.
Carlbring, Per ... [et al] - Remote treatment of panic disorder : a randomized trial of Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy supplemented with telephone calls American Journal of Psychiatry 2006; 163: 2119-2125