Generalizing Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety Disorders to Clinical Practice

NewStudy-Graphic-72x72_edited-3 Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania add to a growing body of research that supports the use of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in clinical practice. In their meta-analysis review of 56 studies, Stewart and Chambless (2009) examined CBT treatments for social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and found significant support for each treatment within the clinical setting. When CBT treatments were compared to control conditions, 78% of participants improved with CBT treatment as compared to 22% of participants in control groups. Additional analyses also indicated lower effect sizes for treatment outcomes when therapists were not trained, when treatment manuals were not used, and when treatment fidelity was not monitored. This data points to the importance of training, the use of treatment protocols, and the monitoring of treatment fidelity.


Stewart R.E. & Chambless, D.L. (2009). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders in clinical practice: A meta-analysis of effectiveness studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 595-606.

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