Efficacy of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment for Comorbid Panic Disorder: A Critical Review and Future Directions for Treatment Research


Address correspondence to Ellen J. Teng, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, 116 MHCL, 2002 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: ellen.teng@va.gov.


A systematic review of trauma treatment outcome literature was conducted to determine the impact of treatment on comorbid panic symptoms. Major databases were searched (from 1989 to 2013) and 64 randomized controlled trials using cognitive behavioral approaches to treat acute stress disorder, subthreshold posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and full PTSD met inclusion criteria for this review. Results showed that 41% of the studies reviewed did not assess for Axis I psychiatric comorbidity at any point during the course of treatment. Only 5% of the studies reviewed reported rates of comorbid panic disorder (PD) at more than one time point during the study. Results indicate that approximately 56% of people no longer meet PD criteria following PTSD treatment.