Predictors of remission from panic disorder, agoraphobia and specific phobia in outpatients receiving exposure therapy: The importance of positive mental health

Publication date: Available online 22 June 2018
Source:Behaviour Research and Therapy
Author(s): Tobias Teismann, Julia Brailovskaia, Christina Totzeck, Andre Wannemüller, Jürgen Margraf
Positive mental health has been shown to predict remission from anxiety disorders in community samples. However, it is unclear, whether positive mental health is also predictive of symptom severity and remission from anxiety disorders in patients receiving exposure therapy. A total of 130 adult outpatients suffering from panic disorder, agoraphobia, or specific phobia received manualized exposure-therapy. Positive mental health was considered as a predictor of symptom severity and remission at the post-treatment assessment and at the follow-up assessment six months after treatment termination – controlling for depression, anxiety, anxiety cognitions, bodily sensations, number of treatment sessions, age and gender. Pre-treatment positive mental health was the only predictor of post-treatment symptom severity and remission status. Post-treatment positive mental health and avoidance behavior predicted symptom severity and remission status at the follow-up assessment. In conclusion, the current study highlights the importance of positive mental health in understanding remission from anxiety disorders.