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Cogn Behav Ther. 2013;42(3):180-92. doi: 10.1080/16506073.2012.753108. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Comorbidity and internet-delivered transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders.

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Department of Psychology, Centre for Emotional Health, Macquarie University, North Ryde, Sydney, Australia.


Internet-delivered transdiagnostic anxiety interventions aim to reduce symptoms across several anxiety disorders using one treatment protocol. However, it is unclear whether comorbidity affects outcomes of such treatment. This study re-examined data from a recent randomised controlled trial (N = 129) that evaluated the efficacy of an Internet-delivered transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) intervention for participants with principal diagnoses of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social phobia (SP) panic disorder and agoraphobia (PDA), of whom 72% met criteria for a comorbid anxiety disorder or depression. Participants were divided into two groups based on whether or not they had a comorbid disorder before treatment. Participants with comorbid conditions reported higher symptom levels at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and follow-up across a range of measures. Both groups showed significant reductions in symptoms over treatment; however, participants with comorbid disorders showed greater reductions in measures of GAD, PDA, SP, depression, and neuroticism. In addition, treatment significantly reduced the number of comorbid diagnoses at follow-up. These results indicate transdiagnostic iCBT protocols have the potential to reduce comorbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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