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Treatment of Fear of Flying
LESLIE SOLYOM; RICHARD SHUGAR; SHIRLEY BRYNTWICK; CAROL SOLYOM
Am J Psychiatry 1973;130:423-427.
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Director, Behavior Therapy Unit, Ottawa General Hospital, Ontario, Canada and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa

Research Assistants, Allan Memorial Institute

Clinical Assistant, Allan Memorial Institute

1973, The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In a study of treatment efficacy for 40 patients with air travel phobia, three behavior therapy techniques—aversion relief, systematic desensitization, and habituation—proved equally effective in significantly reducing the phobia, while group psychotherapy was ineffective. However, at follow-up the difference between the two approaches was no longer significant. The authors suggest that the behavior therapy techniques achieved a more immediate result because they were more directly symptom-oriented. In addition, prior extensive flying experience tended to reduce the benefits from treatment.

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