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Trials. 2012 May 30;13:70. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-70.

Transfer of manualized CBT for social phobia into clinical practice (SOPHO-PRAX): a study protocol for a cluster-randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität/University of Technology Dresden, Institutsambulanz und Tagesklinik IAP-TUD GmbH, Hohe Strasse 53, 01187, Dresden, Germany.



Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is generally known to be efficacious in the treatment of social phobia when applied in RCTs, namely when the treatment manual is based on the Clark-Wells approach. However, little is known about the efficacy of manualized treatments in routine clinical practice (Phase IV of psychotherapy research). The present study (SOPHO-PRAX) is a continuation of a large multicenter randomized clinical trial (SOPHO-NET) and analyzes the extent to which additional training practitioners in manualized procedures enhances treatment effect.


Thirty-six private practitioners will be included in three treatment centers and randomly designated to either training in manualized CBT or no specific training. The treatment effects of the therapies conducted by both groups of therapists will be compared. A total of 162 patients (n=116 completers; n=58 per condition) will be enrolled. Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) will serve as primary outcome measure. Remission from social phobia is defined as LSAS total ≤ 30 points. Data will be collected at treatment begin, after 8, 15, and 25 sessions (50 min each), at treatment completion, as well at 6 and 12 months post-treatment.


The present CBT trial combines elements of randomized controlled trials and naturalistic studies in an innovative way. It will directly inform about the incremental effects of procedures established in a controlled trial into clinical practice. Study results are relevant to healthcare decisions and policy. They may serve to improve quality of treatment, and shorten the time frame between the development and widespread dissemination of effective methods, thereby reducing health cost expenditure.The results of this study will not only inform about the degree to which the new methods lead to an improvement of treatment course and outcome, but also about whether the effects of routine psychotherapeutic treatment are comparable to those of the controlled, strictly manualized treatments of the SOPHO-NET study.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier: NCT01388231. This study was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (SOPHO-NET: BMBF 01GV0607; SOPHO-PRAX: BMBF 01GV1001).

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