Internet may aid in treating panic sufferers

November 22, 2005

Internet-based treatments for sufferers of panic disorder may be just as effective as face-to-face methods, a study by Monash University researchers has found.

Panic attacks can involve a sudden rush of fear or intense anxiety and physical symptoms such as racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, light-headedness or nausea. When these attacks happen unexpectedly, the person has what is known as panic disorder.

The study compared the effectiveness of three types of treatment - internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy sessions, face-to-face sessions, and the use of medication (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) monitored by a psychiatrist.

Preliminary results, based on more than two years of research, showed that internet therapy was comparable with face-to-face treatment in reducing disturbing thoughts and improving stress and anxiety.

When undertaking internet-based therapy, sufferers of panic disorder have an initial face-to-face consultation with a psychologist and are then in regular email contact with the therapist.

Project Co-ordinator, Dr Litza Kiropoulos, said the results supported a new method of treatment for sufferers of panic disorder that was convenient and flexible to people throughout Australia.

"If the online method is as effective as face-to-face sessions, as our research suggests, this is likely to improve treatment accessibility for so many people, particularly in rural areas where people may not be able to access face-to-face treatment easily," she said.

"It could also be particularly useful to people suffering agoraphobia, who may feel unable to leave the house."

"We're not saying there will be no need for face-to-face therapy, this is just another method of therapy that people can access."

The study is being conducted by Dr Kiropoulos, Dr Britt Klein, Mr David Austin, Dr Ciaran Pier, Professor Leon Piterman and Ms Joanna Mitchell, all from Monash University's Department of General Practice.

People in Victoria interested in taking part in ongoing studies into online treatment for panic disorder should go to http://www.med.monash.edu.au/non-cms/mentalhealth/paniconline/.
-end-
For more information contact Dr Kiropoulos on +613 8575 2202 or Ms Diane Squires in Media Communications on +613 9905 9315 or 0417 603 400.

Research Australia

Related Panic Disorder Articles from Brightsurf:

Order in the disorder:
For the first time, a team at HZB has identified the atomic substructure of amorphous silicon with a resolution of 0.8 nanometres using X-ray and neutron scattering at BESSY II and BER II.

Making disorder for an ideal battery
The lithium batteries that power our electronic devices and electric vehicles have a number of drawbacks.

Changes in hospitalizations for alcohol use disorder in US
Changes over nearly two decades in the rate of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths from alcohol use disorder in the US were examined in this study.

Am I having a panic attack? Internet searches for anxiety attacks take off during COVID-19
A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that online help seeking for severe acute anxiety (including 'panic attacks' and 'anxiety attacks') hit record highs in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Does estrogen influence alcohol use disorder?
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that high estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice.

New brain disorder discovery
A study has uncovered a new neurodegenerative disorder in which children experience developmental regression and severe epilepsy.

Deciphering disorder
Researchers have combined experimental and theoretical techniques to measure atomic positions of all the atoms in a 2D material and calculate how the arrangement impacts the electronic properties of various regions of the system.

Persistent genital arousal disorder -- PAIN Reports® presents update on rare neurological disorder
Imagine living with unwanted sexual arousals, occurring unexpectedly and repeatedly, unrelated to any sexual desire or pleasure.

Opioid use disorder in pregnancy: 5 things to know
Opioid use is increasing in pregnancy as well as the general population.

Seeking moments of disorder
Scientists discover a new, long-hypothesized material state with a signature of quantum disordered liquid-like magnetic moments.

Read More: Panic Disorder News and Panic Disorder Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.