The effect of fluvoxamine, cognitive therapy, and placebo on abnormal personality traits in 44 patients with panic disorder

Donald W. Black, Patrick Monahan, Robert Wesner, Janelle Gabel, Wayne Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


The authors report findings from 44 outpatients with panic disorder who completed an 8 week randomized trial of fluvoxamine (n = 17), cognitive therapy (n = 13), or placebo (n = 14). Subjects were given the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-Revised (PDQ-R) before and after the trial. Patients in the three treatment cells were well matched. Nearly 32% met criteria for a personality disorder at the baseline assessment, and there were no significant differences among the treatment groups. For the 3 groups combined, the total PDQ-R score had declined significantly by week 8 (p = .03). Of the 17 PDQ-R traits present in at least 1/3 of the sample, 82% showed a decline in the cognitive therapy cell, whereas 53% did not change in the fluvoxamine cell and 41% increased in the placebo cell. 'Personality profiles' were created and showed that cognitive therapy was associated with the greatest reduction in abnormal traits, specifically those in the schizotypal, narcissistic, borderline, and compulsive categories. Axis II traits were relatively resistant to change with placebo or fluvoxamine. The clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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