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J Prim Prev. 2013 Oct;34(5):345-58. doi: 10.1007/s10935-013-0317-0.

Evaluation of a primary prevention program for anxiety disorders using story books with children aged 9-12 years.

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Dept de Psychoéducation et de psychologie, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Succ "Hull" C. P. 1250, Gatineau, QC, J8X 3X7, Canada,


This article reports the results of a study evaluating a book-supported primary prevention program "Dominique's Handy Tricks" for anxiety disorders in children aged 9-12 years. This cognitive-behavioural program is delivered using a combination of storybooks and workshop sessions. The originality of the program comes from the use of storybooks that were not developed specifically for anxiety management. Every session is based on a story describing characters facing common stressors and how they manage to cope with their daily problems. In our randomized control trial with 46 children, participation in the program led to a significant improvement in coping skills, perceived self-efficacy, anxiety sensitivity, as well as in symptoms of anxiety and fear. The theoretical and practical elements underlying the delivery of this primary prevention program are described.


It is suggested that such an approach, without any labelling specific to anxiety disorders, can be useful in primary prevention programs.

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