Prevention of anxiety disorders

Elizabeth X. Lau*, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    Research into the prevention of anxiety has increased dramatically in the past few years. Prevention programs have been directed at broad, nonspecific anxiety and at more specific anxiety types, such as panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Prevention of anxiety is still a relatively new field, but there has been a recent surge of literature reporting on different prevention programs. Universal prevention trials have shown modest but promising results, and school-based programs offered to all students also help to reduce stigmatization and common barriers to accessing treatment (eg, time, location, and cost). In contrast, targeted programs tend to show somewhat larger effects but rely on identification of relevant populations. Specific programs for the prevention of panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder have also demonstrated some preliminary success. This paper reviews the recent studies of prevention of anxiety and discusses several key issues, specifically (1) identification of at-risk participants for prevention programs, (2) motivation for participation, (3) optimal age for intervention, and (4) who should deliver the program.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)258-266
    Number of pages9
    JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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