The nurse is caring for a patient with an elevator phobia. The patient experiences shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, and trembling while in an elevator. Which of the following is most likely to reduce the patient's anxiety level?


• Systematic desensitization is a form of behavior modification. It attempts to reduce anxiety and thereby eradicate the phobia through gradual exposure to anxiety-producing stimuli.

• Phobias are commonly viewed as learned responses to anxiety that can be unlearned through techniques such as behavior modification.

• Incorrect: Psychoanalytic therapy also may be effective in this situation but requires years of treatment.

• Incorrect: Group psychotherapy could be used as an adjunct treatment to increase the patient’s self-esteem and reduce generalized anxiety. 

• Incorrect: Electroconvulsive therapy is reserved primarily for patients with severe depression or psychosis who respond poorly to other treatments; it is rarely indicated for phobic disorders.

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