[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
In individual cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) for youth anxiety disorders, it is unclear whether, and from whose perspective, the alliance predicts outcome. We examined whether youth- and therapist-rated alliance, including level of youth-therapist alliance agreement, predicted outcome in a randomized controlled trial.
Youth (N = 91, M age = 11.4 years (SD = 2.1), 49.5% boys, 86.8% Caucasian) diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder drawn from the ICBT condition of an effectiveness trial were treated with an ICBT program. Youth- and therapist-rated alliance ratings, assessed with the Therapeutic Alliance Scale for Children (TASC-C/T), were collected following session 3 (early) and 7 (late). Early alliance, change in alliance from early to late, and level of youth-therapist agreement on early alliance and alliance change were examined, in relation to outcomes collected at posttreatment and 1-year follow-up. Outcome was defined as primary diagnosis loss and reduction in clinicians' severity ratings (CSR; Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule; ADIS-C/P) based on youth- and parent-report at posttreatment and follow-up, and youth treatment satisfaction collected at posttreatment (Client Satisfaction Scale; CSS).
Early TASC-C scores positively predicted treatment satisfaction at posttreatment. Higher levels of agreement on change in TASC-C and TASC-T scores early to late in treatment predicted diagnosis loss and CSR reduction at follow-up.
Only the level of agreement in alliance change predicted follow-up outcomes in ICBT for youth anxiety disorders. The findings support further examination of the role that youth-therapist alliance discrepancies may play in promoting positive outcomes in ICBT for youth anxiety disorders. Clinical trial number NCT00586586, clinicaltrials.gov.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
The research on the association between the working alliance and therapist competence/adherence and outcome from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is limited and characterized by inconclusive findings. This study investigates the working alliance and competence/adherence as predictors of outcome of CBT for social anxiety disorder (SAD) and panic disorder (PD).
Eighty-two clinically referred patients (58.5% female; age: M = 33.6 years, SD = 10.3) with PD (n = 31) or SAD (n = 51) were treated with 12 sessions of manualized CBT by 22 clinicians with limited CBT experience in a randomized controlled effectiveness trial. Independent assessors rated the CBT competence/adherence of the therapists using a revised version of the Cognitive Therapy Adherence and Competence Scale, and the patients rated the quality of the working alliance using the Working Alliance Inventory-short form in therapy sessions 3 and 8. The outcome was assessed by independent assessors as well as by patients self-report. A total of 20.7% of the patients (27.5% SAD, 9.7% PD) dropped out during treatment. The association between the alliance, competence/adherence, outcome and dropout was investigated using multiple regression analyses.
Higher therapist' competence/adherence early in the therapy was associated with a better outcome among PD patients, lower competence/adherence was associated with dropout among SAD patients. Higher rating of the alliance late in the therapy was associated with a better outcome, whereas lower alliance rating late in the therapy was associated with dropout.
The findings indicate that the therapist competence/adherence and the working alliance have independent contributions to the outcome from CBT for anxiety disorders, but in different phases of the treatment.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Behaviour Research and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A substantial number of children with anxiety disorders do not improve following cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Recent effectiveness studies have found poorer outcome for CBT programs than what is typically found in efficacy studies. The present study examined predictors of treatment outcome among 181 children (aged 8-15 years), with separation anxiety, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder, who participated in a randomized, controlled effectiveness trial of a 10-session CBT program in community clinics. Potential predictors included baseline demographic, child, and parent factors. Outcomes were as follows: a) remission from all inclusion anxiety disorders; b) remission from the primary anxiety disorder; and c) child- and parent-rated reduction of anxiety symptoms at post-treatment and at 1-year follow-up. The most consistent findings across outcome measures and informants were that child-rated anxiety symptoms, functional impairment, a primary diagnosis of social phobia or separation anxiety disorder, and parent internalizing symptoms predicted poorer outcome at post-treatment. Child-rated anxiety symptoms, lower family social class, lower pretreatment child motivation, and parent internalizing symptoms predicted poorer outcome at 1-year follow-up. These results suggest that anxious children with more severe problems, and children of parents with elevated internalizing symptom levels, may be in need of modified, additional, or alternative interventions to achieve a positive treatment outcome.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Behaviour Research and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Competence and Adherence Scale for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CAS-CBT). The CAS-CBT is an 11-item scale developed to measure adherence and competence in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders in youth. A total of 181 videotapes from the treatment sessions in a randomized controlled effectiveness trial (Wergeland et al., 2014) comprising youth (N = 182, M age = 11.5 years, SD = 2.1, range 8-15 years, 53% girls, 90.7% Caucasian) with mixed anxiety disorders were assessed with the CAS-CBT to investigate interitem correlations, internal consistency, and factor structure. Internal consistency was good (Cronbach's alpha = .87). Factor analysis suggested a 2-factor solution with Factor 1 representing CBT structure and session goals (explaining 46.9% of the variance) and Factor 2 representing process and relational skills (explaining 19.7% of the variance). The sum-score for adherence and competence was strongly intercorrelated, r = .79, p < .001. Novice raters (graduate psychology students) obtained satisfactory accuracy (ICC > .40, n = 10 videotapes) and also good to excellent interrater reliability when compared to expert raters (ICC = .83 for adherence and .64 for competence, n = 26 videotapes). High rater stability was also found (n = 15 videotapes). The findings suggest that the CAS-CBT is a reliable measure of adherence and competence in manualized CBT for anxiety disorders in youth. Further research is needed to investigate the validity of the scale and psychometric properties when used with other treatment programs, disorders and treatment formats. (PsycINFO Database Record
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Psychological Assessment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) stepped care model (psychoeducation, guided internet treatment, and face-to-face CBT) compared with direct face-to-face (FtF) CBT. Patients with panic disorder or social anxiety disorder were randomized to either stepped care (n = 85) or direct FtF CBT (n = 88). Recovery was defined as meeting two of the following three criteria: loss of diagnosis, below cut-off for self-reported symptoms, and functional improvement. No significant differences in intention-to-treat recovery rates were identified between stepped care (40.0%) and direct FtF CBT (43.2%). The majority of the patients who recovered in the stepped care did so at the less therapist-demanding steps (26/34, 76.5%). Moderate to large within-groups effect sizes were identified at post-treatment and one-year follow-up. The attrition rates were high: 41.2% in the stepped care condition and 27.3% in the direct FtF CBT condition. These findings indicate that the outcome of a stepped care model for anxiety disorders is comparable to that of direct FtF CBT. The rates of improvement at the two less therapist-demanding steps indicate that stepped care models might be useful for increasing patients’ access to evidence-based psychological treatments for anxiety disorders. However, attrition in the stepped care condition was high, and research regarding the factors that can improve adherence should be prioritized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the factor structure and external correlates of the constructs Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED) from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The following were addressed: First, do our data support the DSM-5 conceptualization of RAD/DSED as two separate constructs? Second, are RAD and DSED distinct from other well-established dimensions of child psychopathology? Third, what are the external correlates of RAD/DSED in this sample? The study sample included 122 foster children aged 6-10 years. Foster parents completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and the RAD/DSED-scale from the Developmental and Well-Being Assessment. Child protection caseworkers completed a questionnaire regarding exposure to maltreatment and placement history. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the RAD/DSED items identified a good fit for a model with a two-factor structure, which is congruent with the DSM-5 definition of RAD and DSED. A new CFA model, which included the RAD and DSED factors together with the four problem factors of the SDQ (emotional, conduct, hyperactivity-inattention, and peer problems), also demonstrated a good fit with our data. RAD and DSED were associated with the SDQ Impact scale and help seeking behavior. This was partly explained by the SDQ externalizing and peer problem subscales. Our findings lend support for the DSM-5 conceptualization of RAD and DSED as separate dimensions of child psychopathology. Thus, the assessment of RAD and DSED provides information beyond other mental health problems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim was to investigate predictors of treatment dropout among 182 children (aged 8–15 years) participating in an effectiveness trial of manual-based 10-session individual and group cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders in community clinics. The dropout rate was 14.4%, with no significant difference between the two treatment conditions. We examined predictors for overall dropout (n = 26), early (≤session 4, n = 15), and late dropout (≥session 5, n = 11). Overall dropout was predicted by low child and parent rated treatment credibility, and high parent self-rated internalizing symptoms. Low child rated treatment credibility predicted both early and late dropout. High parent self-rated internalizing symptoms predicted early dropout, whereas low parent rated treatment credibility predicted late dropout. These results highlight the importance of addressing treatment credibility, and to offer support for parents with internalizing symptoms, to help children and families remain in treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Previous meta-analyses of paediatric obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) have shown much higher effect size for standard individual cognitive behaviour therapy (SI-CBT) compared with control conditions than for serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) compared with placebo. Other factors, such as systematic differences in the provided care or exposure to factors other than the interventions of interest (performance bias) may be stronger confounders in psychotherapy research than in pharmacological research. Aims: These facts led us to review SI-CBT studies of paediatric OCD with the aim to compare the effect estimates across different comparisons, including active treatments. Method: We included only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or cluster RCTs with treatment periods of 12–16 weeks. Outcome was post-test score on the Children's Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CYBOCS). Results: Thirteen papers reporting from 13 RCTs with 17 comparison conditions were included. SI-CBT was superior to wait-list and placebo therapy but not active treatments. Effect estimates for SI-CBT in wait-list comparison studies were significantly larger than in placebo-therapy comparison studies. In addition, the SI-CBT effect estimate was not significantly different when compared with SRIs alone or combined SRIs and CBT. Conclusions: Performance bias may have inflated previous effect estimates for SI-CBT when comparison contingencies included wait-list. However, the calculated SI-CBT effect estimate was lower but significant when compared with placebo therapy. The effects of SI-CBT and active treatments were not significantly different. In conclusion, our data support the current clinical guidelines, although better comparisons between SI-CBT and SRIs are needed.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Nordic Journal of Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
High prevalence of mental disorders among foster children highlight the need to examine the mental health of children placed out of home. We examined the properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in screening school-aged foster children for mental disorders.
Foster parents and teachers of 279 foster children completed the SDQ and the diagnostic interview Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). Using the diagnoses derived from the DAWBA as the standard, we examined the performance of the SDQ scales as dimensional measures of mental health problems using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses. Recommended cut-off scores were derived from ROC coordinates. The SDQ predictive algorithms were also examined.
ROC analyses supported the screening properties of the SDQ Total difficulties and Impact scores (AUC = 0.80–0.83). Logistic regression analyses showed that the prevalence of mental disorders increased linearly with higher SDQ Total difficulties scores (X2 = 121.47, df = 13, p<.001) and Impact scores (X2 = 69.93, df = 6, p<.001). Our results indicated that there is an additive value of combining the scores from the Total difficulties and Impact scales, where scores above cut-off on any of the two scales predicted disorders with high sensitivity (89.1%), but moderate specificity (62.1%). Scores above cut-off on both scales yielded somewhat lower sensitivity (73.4%), but higher specificity (81.1%). The SDQ multi-informant algorithm showed low discriminative ability for the main diagnostic categories, with an exception being the SDQ Conduct subscale, which accurately predicted the absence of behavioural disorders (LHR− = 0.00).
The results support the use of the SDQ Total difficulties and Impact scales when screening foster children for mental health problems. Cut-off values for both scales are suggested. The SDQ multi-informant algorithms are not recommended for mental health screening of foster children in Norway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conducted a randomized controlled trial to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and compared the relative effectiveness of individual (ICBT) and group (GCBT) treatment approaches for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.
Referred youth (N = 182, M age = 11.5 years, range 8-15 years, 53% girls) with separation anxiety, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to ICBT, GCBT or a waitlist control (WLC) in community clinics. Pre-, post-, and one year follow-up assessments included youth and parent completed diagnostic interview and symptom measures. After comparing CBT (ICBT and GCBT combined) to WLC, ICBT and GCBT were compared along diagnostic recovery rates, clinically significant improvement, and symptom measures scores using traditional hypothesis tests, as well as statistical equivalence tests.
Significantly more youth lost all anxiety disorders after CBT compared to WLC. Full diagnostic recovery rate was 25.3% for ICBT and 20.5% in GCBT, which was not significantly different. There was continued lack of significant differences between ICBT and GCBT at one year follow-up. However, equivalence between GCBT and ICBT could only be demonstrated for clinical severity rating of the principal anxiety disorder and child reported anxiety symptoms post-treatment.
Findings support the effectiveness of CBT compared to no intervention for youth with anxiety disorders, with no significant differences between ICBT and GCBT. However, the relatively low recovery rates highlight the need for further improvement of CBT programs and their transportability from university to community settings.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Behaviour Research and Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Boys with sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCA) represent an understudied group. We examined
parent-reported physical and socio-emotional problems in 25 boys with SCA (Mean age = 11.7
years, SD = 4.5). The majority had no severe physical health problems. One third of the sample had sleep problems and half of them had weekly or monthly pain. Total emotional and behavior
problems, as assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, was at the same level as
reported for boys referred to child mental health clinics. Thus, boys with SCA may have the
same need for psychological assessment and intervention as clinic-referred boys.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Children s Health Care
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of mental disorders in 6- to 12-year-old foster children and assess comorbidity and risk factors.
Information on mental health was collected from foster parents and from teachers using Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) Web-based diagnostic interview. Child welfare services provided information about care conditions prior to placement and about the child's placement history.
Diagnostic information was obtained about 279 (70.5%) of 396 eligible foster children. In total, 50.9% of the children met the criteria for one or more DSM-IV disorders. The most common disorders were grouped into 3 main diagnostic groups: Emotional disorders (24.0%), ADHD (19.0%), and Behavioural disorders (21.5%). The comorbidity rates among these 3 main groups were high: 30.4% had disorders in 2 of these 3 diagnostic groups, and 13.0% had disorders in all 3 groups. In addition, Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) was diagnosed in 19.4% of the children, of whom 58.5% had comorbid disorders in the main diagnostic groups. Exposure to violence, serious neglect, and the number of prior placements increased the risk for mental disorders.
Foster children in Norway have a high prevalence of mental disorders, compared to the general child population in Norway and to other societies. The finding that 1 in 2 foster children presented with a mental disorder with high rates of comorbidity highlight the need for skilled assessment and qualified service provision for foster children and families.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of parental emotional well-being and parenting practices as mediators of the association between familial socioeconomic status (SES) and child mental health problems. The sample included 2,043 5th-7th graders (50.7 % female) participating in the second wave of the Bergen Child Study. Children completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, parents reported family economy and education level, emotional well-being (measured with the Everyday Feelings Questionnaire), and the use of negative disciplinary and affirmative parenting practices (measured using the Family Life Questionnaire). Path analyses were conducted to examine the associations between SES and externalizing and internalizing problems. Results supported a model where family economy was associated with externalizing problems through parental emotional well-being and parenting practices, whereas maternal education level was associated with externalizing problems through negative discipline. The direct association between paternal education level and externalizing problems was not mediated by parenting. For internalizing problems, we found both direct associations with family economy and indirect associations with family economy through parental emotional well-being and parenting. The results suggest that parental emotional well-being and parenting practices are two potential mechanisms through which low socioeconomic status is associated with child mental health problems.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depressive disorders are disabling conditions striking at all ages. In adults, subthreshold depression (SD) is viewed as being on a continuum with major depressive disorder (MDD). Whether this holds for children and adolescents, is still unclear. We performed the first systematic review of SD in subjects below 18 years, in order to explore if childhood SD and MDD share causal pathways, phenomenology and outcomes, supporting a dimensional view.
A critical systematic review in accordance with preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement. A review protocol was developed a priori, and all reports were assessed by two reviewers.
The literature search generated 941 eligible references and 24 studies were included. Although diagnostic criteria for SD showed great variability, similarities for SD and MDD were striking. Both were common conditions with similar risk factor patterns. Clinical characteristics in both groups were depressed mood, suicidal ideation and high comorbidity. Outcomes were almost equally poor, with increased psychiatric morbidity and health service use. SD intervention studies showed promising results.
Reports with data on SD not reported in keywords or abstract may have been missed by the search strategy.
A dimensional view of depressive disorders is also supported in children and adolescents, suggesting SD to be a precursor to MDD. Although SD is a somewhat milder condition than MDD, it has severe outcomes with psychopathology and impairment. There is a need of identifying cost-efficient and longlasting interventions in order to prevent development of early SD into MDD.
No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of Affective Disorders