Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders: A Feasibility Study

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Aim Only a small proportion of children and adolescents with anxiety disorders receive treatment, despite evidence of the efficacy of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) (Reynolds, Wilson, Austin & Hooper, 2012). Lately there has been an increase in the development of ICBT (internet-based CBT) programs to reduce costs and enhance accessibility of psychological interventions. ICBT has proven efficacious towards adults with anxiety disorders (Haug, Nordgreen, Ost & Havik, 2012; Reger & Gahm, 2009). Research in ICBT with children and adolescents is still in its infancy and no program targeting anxiety disorders has been evaluated in Denmark. The aim of the current study was to examine the feasibility of a revised and translated version of the Chilled Out Program for adolescents with anxiety disorders, developed at Macquarie University, Australia.MethodParticipants were 6 adolescents aged 13-17 years. Inclusion criteria were an anxiety disorder as primary diagnosis, access to a computer and the Internet at home, and ability to read and write in Danish. Exclusion criteria were comorbid depression (CSR ≥ 6), school absenteeism above 50%, self-harm, suicidal ideation, substance dependence, psychotic symptoms, mental retardation and severe behavior or learning disorders. The Chilled Out program consists of 8 CBT-inspired modules of approximately 35 minutes each distributed over a 14-week period. The program is interactive using a combination of different media (text, audio, illustrations, cartoons, and videos) to deliver psychoeducation and CBT techniques, activities and exercises for adolescents to manage their anxiety. In addition the adolescents receive a weekly supportive phone call from a psychologist.The study was designed as a single case quasi-experimental feasibility study with varying baseline periods (1-3 months). Participants and their parents were assessed through diagnostic ADIS interviews pre and post treatment as well as by self-reported child and parent questionnaires pre and post treatment, and at 3-month follow-up. Moreover, the participants were interviewed post treatment and at 3-months follow-up with a semi-structured qualitative interview examining factors such as adherence to the program, overall satisfaction with the intervention format and program structure.Results and conclusionResults and conclusion will be presented at the conference as the study is still running.ReferencesHaug T, Nordgreen T, Ost LG, Havik OE. (2012). Self-help treatment of anxiety disorders: A meta-analysis and meta-regression of effects and potential moderators. Clinical Psychology Review, 32, 425-445.Reger MA, Gahm GA. (2009). A meta-analysis of the effects of internet- and computer-based cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety. J Clin Psychol, 65, 53-75.Reynolds, S., Wilson, C., Austin, J., & Hooper, L. (2012). Effects of psychotherapy for anxiety in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 32(4), 251-262.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies 2016 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 22 Jun 201525 Jun 2016


Conference8th World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies 2016

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