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What Is The Best Strategy For Overcoming Constant Worries?

Date:
April 9, 2009
Source:
Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Summary:
A study conducted by a group of German investigators examined whether worry exposure (WE) alone is as efficacious as the empirically supported stand-alone treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), applied relaxation (AR). Both AR and WE seem to represent effective principles of change in GAD. The treatment effects were stable at 6 month and 1 year follow-up.
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A group of German investigators has published a randomized controlled trial on how to overcome constant worries in the current issue of Psyhotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Worry exposure (WE) is a core element of cognitive-behavioral treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Its efficacy as a stand-alone treatment method (without further cognitive-behavioral therapy interventions) has never been tested.

This study examined whether WE alone is as efficacious as the empirically supported stand-alone treatment for GAD, applied relaxation (AR). In a randomized controlled study, 73 outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for GAD as primary diagnosis were allocated to either WE or AR or a waiting list control group; in a 2nd randomization procedure the waiting list subjects were reallocated to WE or AR.

The treatment was manualized (15 sessions with WE or AR), included 6-month and 1-year follow-ups, as well as last observation carried forward and completer analyses, and was controlled for allegiance effects.The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and the State-Trait Anxiety Scale were used as primary outcome measures. Self-report scales of anxiety, worrying and depression including negative metacognition about worrying and thought suppression served as secondary outcome measures.

The dropout rate was moderate. The pre-/posttreatment effects were high for the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (standardized mean difference >1) and for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (standardized mean difference >0.87). The proportion of patients reaching high end state functioning was 48% (WE) and 56% (AR). WE and AR did not differ with regard to dropout rate or treatment effects. The treatment effects were stable at 6 month and 1 year follow-up.

This is the first study to show that a stand-alone exposure in sensu technique - WE - is efficacious in the treatment of GAD. Both AR and WE seem to represent effective principles of change in GAD.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hoyer, J.; Beesdo, K.; Gloster, A.T.; Runge, J.; Höfler, M.; Becker, E.S. Worry Exposure versus Applied Relaxation in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Psyhotherapy and Psychosomatics, 2009; 78: 106-115 DOI: 10.1159/000201936

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Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. "What Is The Best Strategy For Overcoming Constant Worries?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090406102632.htm>.
Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. (2009, April 9). What Is The Best Strategy For Overcoming Constant Worries?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090406102632.htm
Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. "What Is The Best Strategy For Overcoming Constant Worries?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090406102632.htm (accessed July 3, 2015).

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