Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Self-help Treatment For Social Anxiety Can Ease Burden

Date:
October 15, 2007
Source:
Macquarie University
Summary:
New research suggests certain self-help treatments for social anxiety disorder may be just as effective as more traditional, therapist only treatments. With mental health conditions such as anxiety growing in prevalence across the globe, there is a critical need for more innovative, cost-effective and accessible treatments. Social phobia affects more than 200,000 Australians every year. Of these people, 80 per cent do not seek treatment. A new self-help treatment for social anxiety disorder is therefore promising news for both anxiety sufferers and mental health services.

New research from Macquarie University suggests certain self-help treatments for social anxiety disorder may be just as effective as more traditional, therapist only treatments.

With mental health conditions such as anxiety growing in prevalence across the globe, there is a critical need for more innovative, cost-effective and accessible treatments. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (1997 National Survey of Health and Wellbeing) social phobia affects more than 200,000 Australians every year. Of these people, 80 per cent do not seek treatment. The results of Macquarie's recently trialed self-help treatment for social anxiety disorder is therefore promising news for both anxiety sufferers and mental health services.

Recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study investigated the efficacy of pure self-help through written materials for severe social phobia and self-help augmented by five group sessions with a therapist. These conditions were compared with a waiting-list control and standard, therapist-led group therapy.

According to psychology Professor Ron Rapee, who led the team of Macquarie researchers, such methods may provide a template for a highly resource-effective method of treatment delivery.

"Mental health services around the world are limited in their reach and scope," explains Rapee. "In addition, a large proportion of people with anxiety disorders including social phobia do not seek help from traditional mental health services, rather they prefer to deal with difficulties themselves. For these people in particular, self-help might provide an acceptable alternative to traditional therapy. Advantages of self-help include freeing up mental health professionals to allow them to deal with individuals who do require more intensive intervention and providing a more easily accessible and less stigmatising alternative for individuals who are unwilling or unable to access traditional services."

While results of the study indicated that pure self help showed limited efficacy for the treatment of social phobia, they did suggest that self-help augmented by therapist assistance may be a legitimate alternative to traditional therapy models.

"At a 24-week follow-up assessment augmented self-help with five therapist-led group sessions resulted in marked improvements in symptoms of social phobia and life interference that were as great as those produced by standard group treatment," says Rapee.

"These results could have major implications for public health. At one extreme, expert therapists treating individual patients under detailed supervision can produce extremely efficacious results at a higher cost and limited accessibility. At the other extreme, simple provision of printed materials can produce small changes at extremely low cost and broad accessibility. Augmentation of printed materials with a few therapist-led sessions provides an extremely viable mid-point alternative."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Macquarie University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Macquarie University. "Self-help Treatment For Social Anxiety Can Ease Burden." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071014201039.htm>.
Macquarie University. (2007, October 15). Self-help Treatment For Social Anxiety Can Ease Burden. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071014201039.htm
Macquarie University. "Self-help Treatment For Social Anxiety Can Ease Burden." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071014201039.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins