A Meta-Analytic Review of Adult Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Outcome Across the Anxiety Disorders

Peter J. Norton, Esther C. Price
2007 Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease  
The efficacy of cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) for anxiety in adults has been supported by multiple meta-analyses. However, most have focused on only 1 diagnosis, thereby disallowing diagnostic comparisons. This study examined the efficacy of CBT across the anxiety disorders. One hundred eight trials of CBT for an anxiety disorder met study criteria. Cognitive therapy and exposure therapy alone, in combination, or combined with relaxation training, were efficacious across the anxiety
more » ... rders, with no differential efficacy for any treatment components for any specific diagnoses. However, when comparing across diagnoses, outcomes for generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder were superior to those for social anxiety disorder, but no other differences emerged. CBT effects were superior to those for notreatment and expectancy control treatments, although tentative evidence suggested equal effects of CBT when compared with relaxation-only treatments. Reported average effect sizes derived only from established measures identified in Antony et al. (2001) for each anxiety diagnosis and are weighted by sample size. Means with different superscripts (e.g., a,b ) differ significantly (p Ͻ .05). Values in parentheses represent number of conditions contributing to the mean. A multi-dimensional meta-analysis of psychotherapy for PTSD. Am J Psychiatry. 162:214 -227. Brown TA, Barlow DH, Liebowitz MR (1994) The empirical basis of GAD. Am J Psychiatry. 151:1272-1280. Chambless DL, Gillis MM (1993) Cognitive therapy of anxiety disorders. J Consult Clin Psychol. 61:248 -260. Clum GA, Clum GA, Surls R (1993) A meta-analysis of treatments for panic disorder.
doi:10.1097/01.nmd.0000253843.70149.9a pmid:17568301 fatcat:qdle4y7ysfgbfe377dy6enbsby