Cognitive-behavioral therapy for panic disorder in patients being treated for alcohol dependence: Moderating effects of alcohol outcome expectancies

Matt G Kushner, Sandra Sletten, Christopher B Donahue, Paul Thuras, Eric Maurer, Antonina Schneider, Brenda Frye, Joani Van Demark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anxiety disorders commonly co-occur with alcohol use disorders and reliably mark a poor response to substance abuse treatment. However, treating a co-occurring anxiety disorder does not reliably improve substance abuse treatment outcomes. Failure to account for individual differences in the functional dynamic between anxiety symptoms and drinking behavior might impede the progress and clarity of this research program. For example, while both theory and research point to the moderating role of tension-reduction alcohol outcome expectancies (TR-AOEs) in the association between anxiety symptoms and alcohol use, relevant treatment studies have not typically modeled TR-AOE effects. We examined the impact of a hybrid cognitive-behavioral therapy (H-CBT) treatment for panic disorder (independent variable) on response to a community-based alcohol dependence treatment program (dependent variable) in patients with higher vs. lower TR-AOEs (moderator). The H-CBT treatment was generally effective in relieving participants' panic symptoms relative to controls. However, TR-AOEs interacted with study cohort (H-CBT vs. control) in predicting response to substance abuse treatment. As expected, the H-CBT was most effective in improving alcohol use outcomes among those with the highest TR-AOEs. The study's primary methodological limitations are related to the quasi-experimental design employed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-560
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume34
Issue number6-7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • CBT treatment
  • Comorbidity
  • Expectancies
  • Panic disorder

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