The American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Panic Disorder: Recommendations and Controversies

Fredric N. Busch, MD and Barbara L. Milrod, MD

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Measurements of Outcome

The Panic Disorder guideline notes that many studies focus on outcomes related to panic attack frequency. For example, patients are assessed as being panic free if they do not have a sufficient number of panic symptoms to meet the DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder. Panic free, however, does not necessarily mean symptom free. Anticipatory anxiety and phobic avoidance, which frequently accompany panic, can have a significant impact on a patient's life. Therefore, some of the recommendations made in the guideline may be based on incomplete data that represent only part of the range of panic disorder symptoms.

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