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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2007 Aug;9(4):284-90.

Self-help interventions for anxiety disorders: an overview.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and are associated with a marked impairment in quality of life and a huge economic cost to society. Unfortunately, a considerable number of people who struggle with anxiety do not seek or receive adequate treatment. Self-help interventions have been proposed to constitute a relatively cheap, effective, efficient, and low-threshold intervention for anxiety disorders. This paper offers a critical discussion of their advantages and disadvantages and the evidence for their effectiveness. We conclude that guided self-help can play a major role in mental health care for patients with anxiety disorders. However, several research questions need to be answered before broad-scale dissemination is possible. The Internet will continue to play a prominent role in the further development of this field of research and clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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