Behavioral treatment of generalized anxiety disorder

David H. Barlow*, Ronald M. Rapee, Timothy A. Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

156 Citations (Scopus)


Sixty-five carefully diagnosed patients with generalized anxiety disorder were treated with either relaxation, cognitive therapy, or their combination. These three active treatment conditions were compared to a wait-list control group. On several measures, in-cluding measures of worry, treated patients were significantly better than those in the wait-list control group at post treatment. These gains were maintained across the two-year follow-up period. Notably, these therapeutic gains were accompanied by substantial reductions in anxiolytic medication use over the period of follow-up. No differences emerged, however, among treatments at any point of comparison. In addition, drop-out rates among the active treatment groups were high (range = 5% to 38%). Moreover, most patients were left with residual anxiety suggesting the need for the development of more focused and efficient psychological treatments for generalized anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-570
Number of pages20
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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