Changes in intolerance of uncertainty during cognitive behavior group therapy for social phobia

Alison E J Mahoney*, Peter M. McEvoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and objectives: Recent research suggests that intolerance of uncertainty (IU), most commonly associated with generalized anxiety disorder, also contributes to symptoms of social phobia. This study examines the relationship between IU and social anxiety symptoms across treatment. Method: Changes in IU, social anxiety symptoms, and depression symptoms were examined following cognitive behavior group therapy (CBGT) for social phobia (N = 32). Results: CBGT led to significant improvements in symptoms of social anxiety and depression, as well as reductions in IU. Reductions in IU were associated with reductions in social anxiety but were unrelated to improvements in depression symptoms. Reductions in IU were predictive of post-treatment social phobia symptoms after controlling for pre-treatment social phobia symptoms and changes in depression symptoms following treatment. Limitations: The relationship between IU and social anxiety requires further examination within experimental and longitudinal designs, and needs to take into account additional constructs that are thought to maintain social phobia. Conclusions: Current findings suggest that the enhancing tolerance of uncertainty may play a role in the optimal management of social phobia. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-854
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Depression
  • Intolerance of uncertainty
  • Social phobia

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