• cognitive-behavioral therapy;
  • cross-cultural;
  • medication;
  • panic disorder;
  • predictor

Aim:  The aim of this paper is to report the outcomes and follow-up data of our cognitive behavioral therapy program for Japanese patients with panic disorder and to examine the baseline predictors of their outcomes.

Methods:  Seventy outpatients with panic disorder with or without agoraphobia were treated with manualized group cognitive behavioral therapy.

Results:  Fourteen patients (20%) did not complete the program. Among the completers, the average Panic Disorder Severity Scale score fell from 12.8 at baseline to 7.1 post-therapy (44.7% reduction). This effectiveness was sustained for 1 year. While controlling for the baseline severity, the duration of illness and the baseline social dysfunction emerged as significant predictors of the outcome.

Conclusions:  Our data suggest that group cognitive behavioral therapy for panic disorder can bring about as much symptom reduction among Japanese patients with panic disorder as among Western patients.