Cognitive Behavioural Therapies for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAnD) Review
Date: 20 September 2013
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Abstract Background Social anxiety disorder (SAnD) is a highly prevalent condition, characterised by an intense fear of social or performance situations where individuals worry about being negatively evaluated by others. An up to date systematic review of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapies for SAnD is required ...
Abstract Background Social anxiety disorder (SAnD) is a highly prevalent condition, characterised by an intense fear of social or performance situations where individuals worry about being negatively evaluated by others. An up to date systematic review of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapies for SAnD is required to guide practice. Objectives To assess the efficacy and acceptability of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) compared with treatment as usual/waiting list (TAU/WL) for individuals with SAnD. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group (CCDAN) Controlled Trials Register and conducted supplementary searches of MEDLINE, PsycInfo, EMBASE, and international trial registers (ICTRP; ClinicalTrials.gov) in October 2011 and CINAHL in October 2012. We also searched reference lists of retrieved articles, and contacted trial authors for information on ongoing/completed trials. Selection criteria Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials undertaken in out-patient settings, involving adults aged 18-75 years with a primary diagnosis of SAnD, assigned either to CBT or TAU/WL. Data collection and analysis Data on patients, interventions and outcomes were extracted by two review authors independently, and the Risk of bias in each study was assessed. The primary outcomes were social anxiety reduction (based on relative risk (RR) of clinical response and mean difference in symptom reduction), and treatment acceptability (based on RR of attrition). Results Thirteen studies (715 participants) were included in the review, of which 11 studies (599 participants) contributed data to meta-analyses. Based on four studies, CBT was more effective than TAU/WL in achieving clinical response at post-treatment (RR 3.60, 95% CI 1.35 to 9.57), and on eleven studies (599 participants) it was more effective than TAU/WL in reducing symptoms of social anxiety. No significant difference was found between CBT and TAU/WL for attrition. No significant difference was demonstrated for social anxiety at follow-up and no studies examined follow-up data for clinical response or attrition. Authors' conclusions The available evidence suggests that cognitive behavioural therapy might be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms for the short-term treatment of SAnD. However, the body of evidence comparing CBT with TAU/WL is small and heterogeneous.
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