Cognitive-behavioral treatment versus an active control for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders: a randomized trial

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: The current trial examined whether a specific cognitive-behavioral treatment package was more efficacious in treating childhood anxiety disorders than a nonspecific support package. METHOD:: One hundred twelve children (aged 7-16 years) with a principal anxiety disorder were randomly allocated to either a group cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) program or a control condition (group support and attention [GSA]). RESULTS:: Overall, results showed that CBT was significantly more efficacious compared with the GSA condition: 68.6% of children in the CBT condition did not meet diagnostic criteria for their principal anxiety diagnosis at 6-month follow-up compared with 45.5% of the children in the GSA condition. The results of the child- and parent-completed measures indicated that, although mothers of CBT children reported significantly greater treatment gains than mothers of GSA children, children reported similar improvements across conditions. CONCLUSIONS:: Specific delivery of cognitive-behavioral skills is more efficacious in the treatment of childhood anxiety than a treatment that includes only nonspecific therapy factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-544
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

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