Study shares outcomes of digital therapeutic for treating panic disorder and PTSD

A study has been published in Frontiers entitled ‘Real-world outcomes of an innovative digital therapeutic for treatment of panic disorder and PTSD: A 1,500 patient effectiveness study’.

Authors Robert N. Cuyler, Rahul Katdare, Simon Thomas and Michael J. Telch noted that prior clinical trials have shown “consistent clinical benefit” in treating panic disorder (PD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for a prescription digital therapeutic called Capnometry Guided Respiratory Intervention (CGRI). As such, they sought to explore real-world outcomes in patients treated in clinical practice.

CGRI works by teaching a specific breathing style via a system providing real-time feedback of respiratory rate and exhaled carbon dioxide. The system in this study used a proprietary sensor for measurement of respiratory data, an app-based respiratory feedback protocol running on a tablet device, data capture of adherence, physiological and symptom severity metrics, and telehealth coaching to educate and support patients in using the system.

1,569 people took part in the study, drawn from a sample of patients treated with CGRI between September 2017 and September 2021. They completed a baseline Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) or PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) and submitted self-reporting measurements via scale questions on the tablet device. An assigned health coach provided initial support such as education regarding diaphragmatic breathing and the solution was recommended for use twice-daily for 28 days, with weekly follow-up sessions with the health coach for review purposes.

Following each session, data including mean respiratory rates and self-reported symptoms was uploaded from the tablets to a secure server. The data was maintained in a database to facilitate a longitudinal review of sessions by the assigned health coach, allowing identification of issues such as adherence problems and symptom changes.

Results show that PD patients showed a mean eduction in PDSS scores of 50.2 percent, whilst PTSD patients showed a reduction in PLC-5 scores of 41.4 percent.

The researchers conclude that results from this cohort demonstrate “significant rates of symptom reduction and adherence consistent with prior published clinical trials.” They add that the results provide “encouraging evidence of clinical effectiveness” of the treatment in use outside of a formal research setting.

“Dissemination of real-world data such as these are vital for evaluating the viability (clinical benefit as well as engagement) of emerging treatments such as CGRI,” the researchers state. “Adoption of prescription digital therapeutics such as CGRI hold promise for expanding access and patient choice in the treatment of panic disorder and PTSD.”

Citation: Cuyler RN, Katdare R, Thomas S and Telch M (2022) Real-world outcomes of an innovative digital therapeutic for treatment of panic disorder and PTSD: A 1,500 patient effectiveness study. Front. Digit. Health 4:976001. doi: 10.3389/fdgth.2022.976001