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Desensitization and Flooding (Implosion) in Treatment of Phobias
M. Z. HUSSAIN
Am J Psychiatry 1971;127:1509-1514.
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Senior Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Department, Department of Public Health, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada

1971, American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

A controlled cross-over trial of desensitization and flooding therapy assisted by intravenous thiopental or saline infusion was carried out in 40 patients with agoraphobia or social phobias. Patients showed gradual symptom improvement with desensitization treatment, whether it was assisted by saline or thiopental, and continued to improve after cross-over. Patients receiving thiopental-assisted flooding showed marked and faster improvement, while those receiving saline-assisted flooding treatment showed slight improvement. The author concludes that desensitization and flooding produce the best results with phobic patients but could also prove useful in general psychiatric management.

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