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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Feb;71(1):31-40.

Treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in older adults.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System 92161, USA. jwetherell@ucsd.edu


Older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; N = 75; M age = 67.1 years) were randomly assigned to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a discussion group (DG) organized around worry-provoking topics, or a waiting period. Participants in both active conditions improved relative to the waiting list. Although CBT participants improved on more measures than DG participants, the authors found only I significant difference immediately after treatment and no differences at 6-month follow-up. Effect sizes were smaller than in younger samples, but CBT showed large effects and DG showed medium-sized effects Overall, results indicate that brief treatment of late-life GAD is beneficial, but they provide only limited support for the superiority of CBT to a credible comparison intervention.

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