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Psychotherapy (Chic). 2014 Jun;51(2):207-19. doi: 10.1037/a0032527. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Internet-based guided self-help for several anxiety disorders: a randomized controlled trial comparing a tailored with a standardized disorder-specific approach.

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Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universitaet Berlin.


Internet-delivered self-help with minimal therapist guidance has shown promising results for a number of diagnoses. Most of the evidence comes from studies evaluating standardized disorder-specific treatments. A recent development in the field includes transdiagnostic and tailored Internet-based treatments that address comorbid symptoms and a broader range of patients. This study evaluated an Internet-based tailored guided self-help treatment, which targeted symptoms of social anxiety disorder, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, and generalized anxiety disorder. The tailored treatment was compared both with standardized disorder-specific Internet-based treatment and with a wait-list control group. Both active treatment conditions were based on cognitive-behavioral therapy and lasted for 8 weeks. A total of 132 individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for at least one of the anxiety disorders were randomly assigned to 1 of the 3 conditions. Both treatment groups showed significant symptom reductions as compared with the wait-list control group on primary disorder-unspecific measures of anxiety, depression, and general symptomatology and on secondary anxiety disorder-specific measures. Based on the intention-to-treat sample, mean between-group effect sizes were d = 0.80 for the tailored treatment and d = 0.82 for the standardized treatment, versus wait-list controls. Treatment gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up. No differences were found between the 2 active treatment conditions on any of the measures, including a telephone-administered diagnostic interview conducted at posttreatment. The findings suggest that both Internet-based tailored guided self-help treatments and Internet-based standardized treatments are promising treatment options for several anxiety disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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