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GAD-Specific Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Children and Adolescents: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

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Sean Perrin, Denise Bevan, Susanna Payne, Derek Bolton

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1064
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number6
Early online date25 Apr 2019
E-pub ahead of print25 Apr 2019
Published1 Dec 2019

King's Authors


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) designed to target generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in youth was examined in a pilot feasibility trial. Participants (aged 10–18 years) were randomized to either 10 weeks of individual CBT (n = 20) or supported wait-list (n = 20). Diagnostic status (primary outcome) was assessed blindly at post-treatment for both groups, and at a 3-month follow-up for treated participants. Two participants failed to complete CBT and retained their GAD during the trial. Intention-to-treat analyses revealed large between-group differences in favor of CBT at post-treatment for remission from GAD (80% vs 0%) and comorbid disorders (83% vs 0%), and for all secondary outcomes (child and parent-reported). All gains were maintained at 3-month follow-up in the CBT group. Consistent with the treatment model, significant pre- to post-treatment reductions in several cognitive processes were found for CBT but not wait-listed participants, with these gains maintained at follow-up. Further investigations are warranted. Trial registry: Identifier ISRCTN50951795.

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