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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2012 Jul;46(7):630-40. doi: 10.1177/0004867412437345. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Effectiveness of computerised cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety disorders in secondary care.

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Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.



This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (CCBT) with a wait list control (WLC) for the treatment of patients with an anxiety disorder (social phobia, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder) referred to a specialist, publically funded, outpatient anxiety service.


Patients with social phobia (n = 37), panic disorder (n = 32) or generalised anxiety disorder (n = 14) were randomised to treatment with either CCBT (n = 40) or WLC (n = 43). Self-report rating scale assessments were conducted at baseline, 12 and 24 weeks.


Compared with WLC, the CCBT group improved significantly on approximately half of the self-report primary (the Work and Social Adjustment Scale) and approximately half of the secondary measures at both 12 and 24 weeks (the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire, the Generalised Anxiety inventory and the Fear Questionnaire). Effect sizes in this study were moderate.


This is one of the few studies to investigate CCBT for anxiety disorders in patients in a secondary care service. The results show that CCBT in this secondary care setting has the potential to be beneficial and confirms and extends the findings from previous studies of self-referral or primary care settings.

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