Journal of clinical psychology

Cognitive Coping as a Mechanism of Change in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Fear of Flying: A Longitudinal Study With 3-Year Follow-Up.

PMID 27983750


To examine the predictive value of cognitive coping strategies at pretreatment and the value of changes in these strategies during cognitive-behavioral treatment for aviophobia for long-term therapy results. Data from baseline, after therapy at 2 months, short-term follow-up at 5 months, and long-term follow-up at 41 months were analyzed (N = 59). Participants were in a long-term process of change, which continued positively after therapy for maladaptive cognitive coping strategies. The use of cognitive coping strategies at baseline was not predictive of long-term outcome. However, a greater increase in the use of adaptive coping strategies, and more importantly, a greater decrease in the use of maladaptive coping strategies were predictive of improvements indicated in self-report of flight anxiety and actual flight behavior at long-term follow-up. Improvement of maladaptive cognitive coping strategies is possibly a key mechanism of change in cognitive-behavioral therapy for aviophobia.