CBT Demonstrates Long-Term Effectiveness for Adults with Anxiety

According to a new study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, research has demonstrated that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has long-term effectiveness for adults with anxiety disorders. The current study sought to examine the immediate and long-term effectiveness of CBT treatment within a naturalistic, outpatient setting. Participants (n=181) included individuals with the primary diagnoses of OCD, GAD, social phobia, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and specific phobia who had received at least 3 (and on average 14) CBT sessions with a therapist, using CBT interventions exclusively, in an outpatient, fee-for-service setting. At post-treatment, 113 participants (62%) were identified as “responders” or “remitters” (i.e., much or very much improved). Of these, 87 participants (77%) maintained their status as “responders” or” remitters” at one-year follow up. These findings suggest CBT outcomes for anxiety disorders among clinic patients are effective in both the short- and long-term.

DiMauro, J., Tolin, D. F., Domingues, J., & Fernandez, G. (2013). Long-term effectiveness of CBT for anxiety disorders in an adult outpatient clinic sample: A follow-up study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 2, 82-86.

Symptom Change in CBT for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may have a greater effect on symptom change in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) than applied relaxation (AR). The current study sought to determine if change in worry accounts for change over time in somatic anxiety to the same degree in CBT and AR. Participants (treatment-seeking adults with GAD) were assigned to receive 12 weeks of either CBT (n=31) or AR (n=26).

At post-treatment, participants in both treatment groups experienced significant reductions in somatic anxiety and time spent worrying. On average, worrying was reduced from 5-6 hours per day to 3 hours per day. However, change in worry accounted for subsequent change in somatic anxiety to a much greater extent in the CBT group than the AR group. When treatment focused on reducing worry, 49.95% of somatic anxiety was also reduced among participants in the CBT Group, and just 25.87% among participants in the AR group. These results suggest that although two treatments may have similar efficacies at post treatment, the mechanisms of change may differ. Further, these results demonstrate that CBT produces symptom change in a manner that is consistent with the theoretical underpinnings on which treatment is based.

Donegan, E., and Dugas, M. (2012) Generalized anxiety disorder: A comparison of adults receiving cognitive behavioral therapy or applied relaxation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(3), 490-496.

Internet-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Findings of a recent a study published in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy suggests that internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), with therapist support, can reduce symptoms and problems associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), either in conjunction with and sometimes as an alternative to other evidence-based treatment. Internet-based CBT would increase the accessibility and affordability of CBT for individuals with GAD.

Paxling, B., Almlov, J., Dahlin, M., Carlbring, P., Breitholtz, E., Eriksson, T., & Andersson, G. (2011). Guided Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 40(3), 159-173.