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Complete recovery from anxiety disorders following Cognitive Behavior Therapy in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis

updated

Tags: treatment, anxiety, mind

One article on PainSci cites Warwick 2016: Anxiety & Chronic Pain

PainSci summary of Warwick 2016: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.

A meta-analysis concluding that cognitive behavioural therapy is probably effective for about 45-65% of children with anxiety disorders, but the data available is a bit of a mess.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a well-established treatment for childhood anxiety disorders. Meta-analyses have concluded that approximately 60% of children recover following treatment, however these include studies using a broad range of diagnostic indices to assess outcomes including whether children are free of the one anxiety disorder that causes most interference (i.e. the primary anxiety disorder) or whether children are free of all anxiety disorders. We conducted a meta-analysis to establish the efficacy of CBT in terms of absence of all anxiety disorders. Where available we compared this rate to outcomes based on absence of primary disorder. Of 56 published randomized controlled trials, 19 provided data on recovery from all anxiety disorders (n=635 CBT, n=450 control participants). There was significant heterogeneity across those studies with available data and full recovery rates varied from 47.6 to 66.4% among children without autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) and 12.2 to 36.7% for children with ASC following treatment, compared to up to 20.6% and 21.3% recovery in waitlist and active treatment comparisons. The lack of consistency in diagnostic outcomes highlights the urgent need for consensus on reporting in future RCTs of childhood anxiety disorders for the meaningful synthesis of data going forwards.

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