Transdiagnostic Internet treatment for anxiety disorders: A randomized controlled trial.
ABSTRACT Clinician-guided Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) programs are clinically effective at treating specific anxiety disorders. The present study examined the efficacy of a transdiagnostic Internet-based cognitive behavioural treatment (iCBT) program to treat more than one anxiety disorder within the same program (the Anxiety Program). Eighty six individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and/or social phobia were randomly assigned to a treatment group, or to a waitlist control group. Treatment consisted of CBT based online educational lessons and homework assignments, weekly email or telephone contact from a clinical psychologist, access to a moderated online discussion forum, and automated emails. An intention-to-treat model using the baseline-observation-carried-forward principle was employed for data analyses. Seventy-five percent of treatment group participants completed all 6 lessons within the 8 week program. Post-treatment data was collected from 38/40 treatment group and 38/38 control group participants, and 3-month follow-up data was collected from 32/40 treatment group participants. Relative to controls, treatment group participants reported significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety as measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 7 Item, Social Phobia Screening Questionnaire, and the Panic Disorder Severity Rating Scale - Self Report Scale, but not on the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, with corresponding between-groups effect sizes (Cohen's d) at post-treatment of 0.78, 0.43, 0.43, and 0.20, respectively. The clinician spent a total mean time of 46min per person over the program, participants rated the procedure as moderately acceptable, and gains were sustained at follow-up. Modifications to the Anxiety program, based on post-treatment feedback from treatment group participants, were associated with improved outcomes in the control group. These results indicate that transdiagnostic programs for anxiety disorders may be successfully administered via the Internet.
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ABSTRACT: Several Internet interventions have been developed and tested for common mental disorders, and the evidence to date shows that these treatments often result in similar outcomes as in face-to-face psychotherapy and that they are cost-effective. In this paper, we first review the pros and cons of how participants in Internet treatment trials have been recruited. We then comment on the assessment procedures often involved in Internet interventions and conclude that, while online questionnaires yield robust results, diagnoses cannot be determined without any contact with the patient. We then review the role of the therapist and conclude that, although treatments including guidance seem to lead to better outcomes than unguided treatments, this guidance can be mainly practical and supportive rather than explicitly therapeutic in orientation. Then we briefly describe the advantages and disadvantages of treatments for mood and anxiety disorders and comment on ways to handle comorbidity often associated with these disorders. Finally we discuss challenges when disseminating Internet interventions. In conclusion, there is now a large body of evidence suggesting that Internet interventions work. Several research questions remain open, including how Internet interventions can be blended with traditional forms of care.World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) 02/2014; 13(1):4-11. · 8.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the current review is to provide a summary of research into Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) for anxiety disorders. We include 37 randomized controlled trials that examined the efficacy of iCBT programs in adults (aged over 18 years), as compared with waiting list or active control. The included studies were identified from Medline searches and from reference lists, and only published data were included. Several trials of iCBT for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia were identified. Two trials of iCBT for obsessive-compulsive disorder were identified, whilst one trial each was identified for hypochondriasis, specific phobia (spiders), and post-traumatic stress disorder. Finally, there were five trials that focused on transdiagnostic therapy for either a range of comorbid anxiety disorders or comorbid anxiety and depression. Between-group effect sizes were moderate to large for all disorders, and ranged from 0.30 to 2.53. iCBT was found to be commensurate with face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy whether delivered individually or in group format. Guidance may not be necessary for iCBT to be effective for immediate gains, but may be more important in longer-term maintenance of symptom improvement and maximizing patient adherence. The clinical experience of the individual providing guidance does not appear to impact treatment outcomes. Future research needs to focus on the optimal level of guidance required to generate maximum patient benefits, whilst balancing the efficient use of clinician time and resources. Evidence-based contraindications to iCBT should also be developed so that the choice of treatment modality accurately reflects patients' needs. Further research should be conducted into the effective elements of iCBT, as well as the extent to which therapy enhancers and advancing technology can be accommodated into established iCBT frameworks.Psychology Research and Behavior Management 01/2014; 7:37-46.
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ABSTRACT: Transdiagnostic approaches to cognitive behaviour therapy (TCBT) of anxiety disorders have drawn increasing interest and empirical testing over the past decade. In this paper, we review evidence of the overall efficacy of TCBT for anxiety disorders, as well as TCBT efficacy compared with wait-list, treatment-as-usual, and diagnosis-specific cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) controls. A total of 11 studies reporting 12 trials (n = 1933) were included in the systematic review. Results from the meta-analysis of 11 trials suggest that TCBT was generally associated with positive outcome; TCBT patients did better than wait-list and treatment-as-usual patients, and treatment gains were maintained through follow-up. The pooled estimate showed a moderate treatment effect, however with large heterogeneity suggesting differences in treatment effects between the studies. Also, all the included trials, apart from one, were judged to be associated with a high risk of bias. Only one study compared TCBT with diagnosis-specific CBT suggesting treatment effect of TCBT to be as strong as diagnosis-specific CBT. This study not only cautiously supports evidence for the efficacy of TCBT, but also suggests the need for more high-quality, large-scaled studies in this area. Transdiagnostic treatments offer great clinical promise as an affordable and pragmatic treatment for anxiety disorders and as a specialized treatment for co-morbid and other-specified anxiety disorders.Cognitive behaviour therapy 03/2014;