Diagnosis-Specific Group CBT Treating Social Anxiety in Adolescents: A Feasibility Study

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Background: Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most common anxiety disorders among adolescents. It is associated with extensive distress and negative long-term consequences. Generic cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the preferred treatments for anxiety disorders, but it has shown poorer outcome for adolescents with SAD than for other anxiety disorders. Aim: As preparation for a randomized controlled trial the aim of the present study was to examine the feasibility of an adjusted diagnosis-specific CBT group intervention for adolescents with SAD, and provide preliminary information on adolescent and family outcomes. Method: Thirteen adolescents (age 12-17 years) diagnosed with SAD received a group therapy version of the Cool Kids Anxiety Program, Social Enhanced (CK-E), a program developed at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. The treatment is a diagnosis-specific manualized CBT treatment for adolescents with SAD. Semi-diagnostic interviews and questionnaires were completed at baseline, post, 3-month follow-up and 1-year follow-up. Results: Thirteen adolescents participated with no drop-outs. Most families attended all 10 intervention sessions. The families were generally satisfied with the treatment and would recommend it to others in need. Preliminary outcomes showed that participants had marked improvements in their anxiety symptoms and life interference, with significant medium to large baseline-post effect sizes durable at 1-year follow-up. Two of the adolescents were free of their SAD diagnosis at 3-month follow-up. Conclusion: Results from this feasibility study indicate that the Danish-translated and revised version of Cool Kids Anxiety Program - Social Enhanced could be a feasible intervention for Danish adolescents with SAD. The intervention will be investigated further in a randomized controlled trial.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology
Pages (from-to)89-101
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Adolescent
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Feasibility study


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