Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Long-term (6-year) follow-up of children and adolescents who received Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders.

A six year (6.17 average) follow-up was reported from Queensland Australia for anxious children and teens who were treated with CBT. Fifty-two clients (aged 14 to 21 years) who had completed treatment an average of 6.17 years earlier were reassessed, using diagnostic interviews, clinician ratings, and self- and parent-report measures. After receiving CBT, 85.7% no longer had any anxiety disorder. These gains held at both 1 year follow-up, as well as after 6 years. Both CBT, as well as CBT plus family management were equally effective at the follow-ups.

This study strongly supports the long-term effectiveness of using CBT in treating children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. As other research shows that most anxious adults were first anxious children, this is very good news. Further, treating these conditions early on would prevent years of misery and often, medical treatment.

Two excellent books written FOR kids are What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Huebner and Bonnie Matthews and What to Do When You're Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids by James J. Crist. An excellent book for parents is If your Adolescent has an Anxiety Disorder by Edna Foa and Linda Wasmer Andrews. These books are recommended whether or not the child is receiving counseling.

Many kids respond quickly to CBT counseling. When presented in a more concrete way than to most adults, kids can understand which thought makes them “feel bad” and which thought makes them “feel good,” as an eight year old boy said to me today. Helping them develop mastery over their emotions can be powerful, to all involved.

The original study was by Barrett PM, Duffy AL, Dadds MR, Rapee RM and was titled “Cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders in children: long-term (6-year) follow-up.” It was reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2001 Feb; 69 (1): pp. 135-41.

Best wishes,
Mike

3 comments:

DrJonesAnimalAgentzDotCom said...

Dear Mike
I did a PhD on computer based CBT for children. It is now called www.animalagentz.com
Could you please have a look at it.
It gives children a way of practising basic skills at home etc.
We are now slowly being used in hospitals.
It is listed on the national autism web site and ADHD support.
It can also be used to relax kids.
Pleases let me know what you think
Thank you
mark

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